What International First Year College Students Need To Have Before They Arrive In a New Country

Written by K Fisher on June 19, 2022

10 min read

Equipment needed for the first year of college

The amount of different types of items and must-needed electronic equipment that a first year student will need in a new country is quite a long list. While some things can be easily provided by going to a store located near the university, it can be difficult if the student does not know the main language spoken in the country they’ve arrived in.

We will go through what important items may be needed to help a first year students transition into a new way of life below.

Table of Contents

  • Why Every Student Needs An International Electronic Adapter
  • Language Translation App – and Book
  • Funds In International Currency
  • VPN For All Private Access on a Laptop or Computer
  • Medical History
  • A Map of The Campus Grounds
  • USB Flash Drives for Every Project
  • HDMI Cord or an Ethernet Cord For Computer/Laptop – With Available Adapter
  • Budget List Ready
  • Dressing Appropriately for Weather Conditions – One All Year-Round Coat
  • The Ultimate List
  • Laptop Backpack – Camping Backpack
  • A Pack of Sticky Notes to Mark Important Textbook Pages
  • SIM Card for Cell Phone
  • Day Planner
  • Do Not Pack Full Size Liquids (Like Shampoo/Conditioner/Mouthwash)
  • Don’t Forget The Umbrella
  • Overview and Insightful Thoughts

Why Every Student Needs An International Electronic Adapter

It is incredibly easy to forget that electronic plugs are different in most countries. Students will need to have an international power adapter to ensure that they can charge their iPhone/Android, Laptop, and other electronic accessories that essentially will not be able to charge or be useful otherwise. Normally, students have forgotten this item and an adapter is one of the most important aspects to have as a first year student.

Language Translation App – and Book

These two things will go hand-in-hand. One, there are a number of translations apps available where an individual can speak into the microphone of there cell phone and it will translate into the language of their choice. This is a great app to have since it can greatly allow a student who could be new to the country’s language, to develop confidence skills in speaking with others that involve a conversation in a different language.

Having a translation handbook guide on hand, will help any student. This will help the new student to be able to read signs in shop windows, street signs, and any building signs that may be along their way when they walk on campus. As a matter of fact, students typically learn to read a second language before being able to speak it fully. So, reading even children’s books is highly encouraged since this can help anyone to understand that basic level of understanding and language sentence structure.

Funds In International Currency

Everyone thinks that their debit or credit card will be the way to pay in any country. However, having actual currency can help all students to learn the currency difference. When a student has the actual physical currency in hand, they can distinguish how much something will cost verses solely relying on a credit card. Credit cards tend to have international fees and this is not a great way for any student to begin their college budgeting process. Instead, a small fee is presented for the student to order the correct amount in the correct physical currency from their main bank branch.

This is a very simple solution that can be done online and sent to the student via their main living address. All a student has to do is log in to their bank account, and select international currency and scroll down to the country that the student will be studying and living in for the duration of their stay.

VPN For All Private Access on a Laptop or Computer

This may be one of the more important aspects that students do not think about. A VPN can allow accurate privacy for any student that is not use to the normal security programs that are provided in different countries. Also, a VPN always private security both on a laptop and any mobile devices a student may own. So, anytime a student checks their bank account, they can rest assure that a VPN protects their privacy, login and password, and browsing history.

Medical History

Ironically enough, this is something that will slip the mind of most students. It is a requirement before entering any new country for a student to have the required medical shots to enter certain countries. Now, every student who intends to study at a university that is not in their own native country, will need to submit biometrics. This is essentially a collective of medical history and a recent medical screening from the student themselves.

Biometrics even includes fingerprints to legal name and current legal citizenship. This format can be provided digitally so it is easier to share with admissions of the college, the student has been accepted to attend.

A Map of The Campus Grounds

More times than not, nearly every new college freshmen finds themselves lost within the grand scape of the college campus region. This happens, and it is not something to feel insecure about because there are maps available to students upon request. Even using the satellite map to add a bit of reassurance to the student who may not know where their history lecture is located.

Also, taking an extra week ahead of schedule to explore the campus grounds will help any student to feel better about their surroundings. This little exercise can help implement a new route and that following week of ‘real studies’ will not feel as intimidating.

For students that may not live on campus their first year attending college, research public transport. Simply look up the local transport system either online or at a bus/train stop and see what the “line or route” is called. For example, in Canada, students have advantage with acquiring a monthly free public transport pass that has several universities located within the ‘green and orange route.’

If students are facing the real probability that they will need to take public transport, they can acquire a monthly discount or even a free pass from the head of admissions.

USB Flash Drives for Every Project

While it’s nice to think that our laptop or desktop computer may never crash, it can. Having a USB Flash Drive to place each important project or research resources on will literally help out every student, no matter if they are a freshman or a postgraduate.

From accidently hitting the delete button, or the electricity goes out. It’s hard to be reassured that the assignment you spent weeks on has been saved and edited in the exact format, that was intended. Instead, having a few extra USB Flash Drives can help students to feel less stressed and more certain that each of there projects are easily accessible no matter what happens to their laptop or desktop computer.

Students that utilize the available free library computers, would do better with owning a few USB Flash Drives to save all of their current progressive work on.

HDMI Cord or an Ethernet Cord For Computer/Laptop – With Available Adapter

Why? Because not every college dorm has wireless Wi-Fi, instead a lot of dorms will have a plug-in spot where an Ethernet cord plugs into. In this case, that means a student relies on plugged in internet instead of wireless.

Having an Ethernet internet connection also will provide a stronger internet connection and stability. This means a student will not need to proceed with continued outage from the wireless internet router, which is an added plus to bringing an ethernet/HDMI cord. The HDMI cord can help connect multiple devices that a student may have set up in their college dorm room, or rented room.

Budget List Ready

This is important, students should research near by grocery stores or necessity shops and add up a whole round total of how much everything will cost. But adding up a budget of the necessity items a student will need to get fairly immediately upon their arrival. This can help the student to find the right amount they need in funds, that will go to easing their transition from a long plane ride to having their favorite snack and haircare products.

Dressing Appropriately for Weather Conditions – One All Year-Round Coat

This may be the most essential clothing item a student can have. A year-round coat that will protect them from the elements will make things a lot easier. A coat that will protect against a sudden cold front or possibly the coldest Spring and Fall that the country has experienced in some time. The amount of times a student did not have the right type of clothing gear mixed in with their own bad experience of their first college year… tends to lead right back to not having the right coat. It may sound funny, but it is extremely serious when it comes down to protecting the body against the cold season.

Because there is typically so much excitement surrounding this new life changing adventure, students can easily become sidetracked. Being able to avoid any seasonal illness is needed, because no student wants to end up sick with a cold because they simply did not have warm enough clothing. Instead invest in a great coat that will last a good couple of years.

The Ultimate List

Yes! Having a check list of items that can be taken on a plane to travel to the next destination will help solve a lot of problems. Every student will benefit from making a long check list divide into sub sections such as clothing, electronics, toiletries, and additional needs. From a number of blogs and reviews students do not prefer immediately shopping for much upon their arrival in a new country. Students tend to experience heavy jet lag from their travels and want to settle into their new room as soon as possible.

This is were self care comes in, and that’s why creating the ultimate item list is needed.

Laptop Backpack – Camping Backpack

When it comes to finding the best backpack to use, camping backpacks tend to be the best travel need. When it comes to students taking their own laptops to each class or lecture, that laptop needs to be protected by a camping backpack for optimum protection.

Normally, the size of the best college campus backpack need is around 18.5 inches. This is to help carry textbooks (more than 1 will be carried) along with adjustment straps that will not hurt a students back. There are numerous lists out there on the internet that show the best made backpacks for college students.

A Pack of Sticky Notes to Mark Important Textbook Pages

Who knew post-it sticky notes would be so important in college? Well, they are and they provide a necessary tool… a way to bookmark important or resourceful pages in any textbook. Post-it notes allow students to write any footnote needed that is necessary on a certain textbook page. Also, post-it notes works so much better than writing in the textbook itself. Writing in college textbooks is not a great idea because these books can be re-sold after the student has passed those classes. This way students can receive a deposit amount back on what they paid for their expensive textbooks.

SIM Card for Cell Phone

This is the most forgotten item for all students. Anyone moving to a new country temporarily, will need to buy a SIM card in that country. This will help the student to access the data in that country, which will allow the student to call within that country. If a student wants an international phone plan, they need to discuss with their current phone carrier and implement the right type of international plan that covers there destination country. This way the student can stay in contact with family and friends.

Day Planner

Having a day planner that covers a full year academic duration, will make all homework assignments and lecture times a lot more manageable. A day planner will help the student to create a better time management schedule that they can follow on a daily basis. This way, no assignment will be missed or disregarded. College has been reported as one of the main times, where a student learns about time management when it comes to understanding what it means to split up the day with routine.

With more and more universities sharing selfcare ideas, a daily planner allows the student to focus on their time management to stop working on projects to give their brain a break. This is perfect idea for anyone that tends to forget things quite easily and needed that little bit of extra help.

Do Not Pack Full Size Liquids (Like Shampoo/Conditioner/Mouthwash)

It is easy to forget when it comes to packing for college, that full size liquid bottles will be thrown out at the airport. Why? This goes against all airline regulations of what passengers can carry on a plane. Whenever a passenger goes through security, each time, those large full size bottles of liquid will be thrown out.

Instead, all travel size bottles are accepted. A student should only shop for the travel size companion options because this follow regulations but at least the student will have a potential week supply for necessary hygiene items within their suitcase.

Don’t Forget The Umbrella

An umbrella to protect you from any downpour, to protecting your backpack that carries electronic items and expensive textbooks is simply needed. We tend to not think about this one item that can bring a lot of ease to life. Oddly enough an umbrella is the one tool that can protect your laptop from not soaking in a sudden intense thunderstorm.

No matter which country is chosen as the college destination, one fact remains. It will eventually rain and that umbrella will be needed.

Overview and Insightful Thoughts

Anyone attending college for the first time in a new country’s will definitely feel the effects of culture shock. This is completely normal for anyone to experience. But having a reference guide will definitely help with those overwhelming feelings that can transpire after trying to figure out what not to forget when it comes to packing necessary items.

No freshman should go through their days without items that can greatly impact there future health and wellbeing. While many universities put out huge decorative dorm lists each year, these simple things tends to be left out of the bunch. Yet, something as simple as a SIM card that is purchased in the destination country’s could be the item needed to make that call home.

We want to provide a general list of the items that may be easily forgotten about when it comes to the overwhelming nature of packing for a year-long trip. This way, students can double check to insure that all of the items that can make or break their stay a bit easier and calm. Hopefully, this list helps those that may have struggles to put together a confident “ultimate list” of necessary college life items.

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