Your time in college is busy. However, one experience we recommend that every college student attempts to fit in is a study abroad. Studying in Dubai can be incredibly enriching and can be a lifetime experience. You learn a new culture, receive top of the line education from a different institution than the one you’re currently enrolled in, and you make new connections that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Considering studying in Dubai? Here are some articles that will help you find the best school for your overseas school in Dubai:
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However, as amazing as study abroad trips are, they don’t come without challenges. In this article, we will focus on some of those challenges that may arise during your move to studying in Dubai.
1. Finances – The Biggest Problem You’ll Face
Making sure you have the funds to cover your study abroad can be stressful. It requires a lot of budgeting in order to stay on top of things and to be able to fully experience the culture you’re immersing yourself in. There is, of course, like any other study abroad destination, Study abroad in Dubai has some upfront costs. This covers classes, airfare, etc. However, it’s good to think about other miscellaneous costs ahead of time. How will you cover train fare if you want to see a nearby city or country while you’re away? What about an exciting dinner out? Souvenirs? A tour of a beautiful museum you’re dying to see? These seemingly small expenditures will add up – especially if you’re studying abroad for a semester, a summer, or another extended period of time.
Your family may be helping you with these costs. However, even if they’re not, it’s important to have an emergency plan for sending and receiving money while you’re abroad. Do not tap out on your savings to go study in Dubai and put yourself in a situation in which any unexpected expense will put you under too much stress. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a tight spot.
You might also consider getting a job while you’re studying in Dubai to help ease the financial burden. Many study abroad programs can pair up with language teaching government programs. Essentially, you teach your native language to children at a local school while you’re studying abroad in Dubai. In many cases, these government programs provide you with a stipend, room and board, or a full-on salary. Other excellent jobs for study abroad students include being a tour guide (what better way to see your beautiful new area?), house sitting for someone who is away, or getting involved with an organization like WWOOF who promote students getting involved with local farm work in exchange for room and board.
2. Transferring money abroad
As an overseas student (or in many cases, a parent to an overseas student) you will need to move money between your local and overseas bank account often. Whether a transfer should be made to pay for tuition or living as a one-off, or you will do send regular transfers to UAE, you will need a good currency provider to save money from being burnt on fees.
Banks are not only notoriously non-service oriented, they are also expensive with high fees per transfer and bad rates. It is particularly bad for overseas students in Dubai – as banks can take a bigger markup than usual of the currency rate when it comes to exotic currencies, and the Dirham is considered as such.
3. Being Away from Family
If you go to college away from family, studying abroad might be unexpectedly difficult for you. Even if you don’t see your family often, having the capability to see them because they’re nearby and accessible is something that many of us take for granted. You might find yourself missing them more than usual, or feeling the stress of having to solve problems – financial and otherwise – on your own.
4. Language Differences
Even if you’ve studied the language of the country you’re traveling to, it’s incredibly likely that you’ll have language difficulties during your study abroad. People rarely speak as they do in your textbooks, and you may feel frustrated when you try to keep up with what feels like a too-fast linguistic pace. Fortunately, this bump in the road will benefit you long-term. Your language skills will improve tremendously!
5. Adjusting to the Culture
Living in a different country is much different than visiting. You may find yourself struggling to adjust to different cultural norms during your study abroad. When in doubt, have a backup plan. Whether that’s the corner store you know will sell your favorite kind of candy bar, or a picture or token from home that will keep you feeling connected, having a plan to help yourself through those difficult moments of homesickness and culture shock will go a long way. If you are coming from the liberal European countries, it may take you even more time to adjust to the local culture in Dubai than with other popular destination for overseas schooling.
6. Navigating Unforeseen Circumstances
It’s a good rule of thumb to always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Know ahead of time what you’ll do if you get sick while you study abroad. Who will you contact if you need an emergency money transfer? How will you contact them? Do they know they’re your person of contact? Decide which medical place you’ll go if you need assistance if you fall ill or hurt yourself physically. Know where you can stay if your living arrangements fall through at the last minute, or if you run into a problem with roommates, etc.
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While studying in Dubai or study abroad elsewhere is absolutely worth the experiences you’ll have, it’s important to prepare for every situation. Know how you’ll fund your trip and expenses, know the best ways for the family to send you money abroad (and how you can receive those funds), and think through potential unfortunate situations like illness ahead of time to get the most out of your trip.