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Preparing for Life Abroad


11Nowadays, many colleges provide you with information on banks on or near campus,  so that you can establish a bank  a/c or at least do much of the groundwork before your child leaves home. If not, you will have to send a draft along with her, or as per the instructions of the college. Most colleges require that the student opens a bank a/c in one of the campus banks, and this is also useful since she will not have to go too far to withdraw money. Campus banks are also experienced in dealing with international students and their requirements; she will have to present her passport and her college identity card to open a bank a/c. Since foreign exchange restrictions are considerably relaxed now, your child may be able to use a credit card issued by an Indian bank in India upon her arrival in a new country. However, it is advisable to provide the student with a local credit or debit card since this has a wider acceptance – she will most probably be able to get a credit card linked to her campus bank a/c.

Many students, faced with financial independence for the first time in their lives and with a new and unfamiliar currency, tend to swing between the wo extremes. Some are so shocked at  the cost of several essential items in their new country, especially when converted into rupees, that they scrimp and save on essential items, like food and toiletries. Others are so excited by the rampant consumerism in their new country that they run through their budgets like a house on fire. Impress upon your child that neither extreme is advisable, and that while some initial mistakes are inevitable as one adjusts to a new country and a new life, moderation is important, healthy and safe. For example,    spending money on eating right and healthy will cost you less than a hospital visit later when one falls sick due to erratic  food habits, and using campus transportation or calling for a cab is more safe and sensible than walking back through a lonely and unfamiliar neighbourhood after dark.


Health care is usually very expensive in many western countries and some, like the USA, do not have a national health plan. Most colleges therefore insist that all international students be covered under an insurance plan, either the ones offered by the college or otherwise, and  these provide a certain minimum coverage specified by the college. There is usually outpatient care provided on campus, and most colleges charge a mandatory fee for this purpose every semester as part of the verall fees. The insurance plan usually  covers emergency care, hospitalisation, or special services not covered by outpatient care. In addition, incoming students will be required to show that they have been fully immunised against several diseases.


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