Planning a semester or year of education abroad is hard. Whether you’ve started the process or want to study abroad in the future, you’ll quickly learn one can easily get unorganized. As deadlines come and go and emails from various advisors flood your inbox, I have a few simple tips to help you stay organized!
Make a checklist
Making a checklist of the documents and things you have to do, makes staying organized so much easier. Rutgers University provides us with a checklist in the Student Application of their Global Education network. If you don’t have an online study abroad portal, I recommend making a physical checklist where you can check off finished/received items as you go.
Here is what my checklist looks like!
Print everything out
I am a very visual person. Being able to physically hold something in my hand helps me internalize and recognize its existence. When everything is on a computer screen, it is hard to keep track of what you do and don’t have. From Letters of Offer to the housing rental schedules, I advise you print everything out. It has helped me tremendously to be able to physically hold and see all my documents, as well as use sticky notes to mark when certain items are sent to an advisor or the host university.
Use a binder
Having a designated binder for study abroad documents and college related items is the perfect way to stay organized while planning your study abroad. Inside my binder, I like to divide the documents into three sections.
- Home University
- Host University
- Current necessary items
Within the “Home University” section, I like to keep all my printed out documents that pertain to my education at home. Those documents include my general-course requirements for my major and a checklist of the classes I have and haven’t fulfilled. Within my “Host University” section, I keep all my documents that pertain to my host university abroad. These documents include pre-approved class lists, my Letter of Offer, and student visa information. I find dividing my binder into school-specific sections, helps me stay organized and ahead of the game. In the “current necessary items” section, I keep all the documents that fulfill my checklist. These documents include my Course Equivalency form, my Physician’s Medical Information, application packets, and fee receipts.
I hope my tips on staying organized while planning your study abroad helped. These are just recommendations and you totally don’t have to use them, but these tips have helped me tremendously! If you have any questions feel free to comment or contact me! I’d love to help!
I leave for my study abroad at the end of July and if this blog post helped, definitely make sure to stay connected for more exciting study abroad related posts.