Do I need any visas and passports when studying abroad?
When you are planning to study abroad, you need to take care of all the necessary documents. This is probably the most boring part when planning your studies abroad, but in order to fully enjoy your time in a new country, you have to take care of the official stuff too. In fact, the sooner you take care of these documents, the sooner you can start having the time of your life abroad!
When you have secured a place at a university, no matter whether it’s as an exchange student or as a full degree student, you will probably have to get your acceptance letter as soon as possible to help get all the official stuff rolling. Consult with the university where you will be studying and the embassy of the country that you will be living in.
Make sure your visas and passports are up-to-date
Even though you will study in a country where there is no visa is needed, it’s a good idea to check that your passport is not going to expire any time soon. When visiting some countries, the passport has to be valid for even 3 to 6 months after the time you plan on leaving the country.
Also, trust your own judgment when going through the information provided on the internet, for example. You might face some serious problems if you don’t have a proper visa. In some countries, if you go there to study with a tourist visa instead of a proper study visa, you might even face fines or prison time in the absolute worst cases.
It is really important to remember that the procedures on visas and immigration issues might change quite often even within the same country. That’s why you should always find the latest information which is 100 % up to date.
Of course, when studying in the European Union, you don’t need a visa to access other countries of the Schengen area during your stay there. So you can just drive with a bike from Austria to, let’s say, Slovenia or drive a car from Finland to Sweden. So, when studying in the so called Schengen area, there are definitely the perks of getting to visit many countries with the same visa.
Can I work while studying abroad?
In some countries it is possible to work while you study. It is very worthwhile, not only for getting some extra money, but also because you will create some networks for your working life. This might even lead to a permanent position after you graduate.
In some countries, such as Australia and Finland, just to name a few, it is possible and sometimes even encouraged to work while you study. Usually you will be allowed to work part-time during your studies. On holiday periods, also full-time work might be possible. In the United States, if you get a scholarship that is only partially paid, you might earn some extra money by working directly with the university.
Most studies also include some kind of an internship. Usually, if the internship is part of your studies, you don’t need any kind of changes for you visa or residency permit. However, it is always a good idea to check the procedures with your university or with the immigration officials.
If you are a degree student, sometimes you can stay in the country with an automatic visa extension from six to twelve months after your studies end. This will encourage you to find a job as soon as possible after graduation. We wish you all the best with that!