Grants/Opportunities Travel Tips

The Ultimate Study Abroad Checklist for Every African Student

Traveling abroad is the desire of most African students. The lack of economic and job opportunities in most countries make young African students interested in traveling abroad to seek greener pastures. While millions of students try to make a move to relocate abroad for their studies, not many are lucky to cross the continent’s borders. If you are ready to travel to a new country, we have provided a checklist to help you make your dream of studying abroad a reality.

The process comes with many moving pieces that can be complicated, but it could be quickly fixed to give you the added advantage you need for your studies abroad.  You should not panic because things could be less stressful with the following checklist:

Get Your Passport Ready

You should apply for your international passport in advance before you consider planning for a school abroad. This should be your starting point of relocating for a new life and studies.  You should know that your passport have to be valid for more than six months at the time of issuance of a visa.

Research Your Desired Program of Research

You must not jump into a program. You have to research on your program of interest by checking the school’s official website and learning more about the program. You can make use of social media especially LinkedIn to learn more about your desired program of study.

Take Up a Language Test

Some countries demand that you take up a language test before gaining a student’s visa to study abroad. You can take common test English examinations such as TOEFL-Test of English as a Foreign Language, IELTS-International English Language Testing System, or PTE-Pearson Test of English. For countries or institutions that do not demand for this, this step would not be necessary.

Prepare Your Application Ahead

You should prepare your application ahead if you want to travel abroad with less difficulty. This includes communicating with potential recommenders, drafting your statement of purpose etc. Doing this ahead helps make sure there is ample time to proof read and correct mistakes.  You should be mindful of when you are submitting each document. Double-check the questions or criteria before completing them.

Apply for an International Student Scholarship or Financial Aid

You can reduce your financial burden by applying for financial aid or scholarship for international students.  Most of these scholarships come with deadlines that must be met.

Apply for a Student Visa Six Months Before

A student visa criterion varies from country to country.  You should apply at least six months before you leave the country if possible.

Get Student Health Insurance


Do not assume anything when it comes to your health insurance. Most developed countries take their health insurance policies seriously. You should get the right health insurance that can cover your time abroad as a student. You can do this when you arrive at your country of schooling.

Start Looking for Accommodation Ahead

When you get your admission and student’s visa, do not stop until you get your accommodation sorted out. You should ensure that you have settled with your accommodation before you board your departure flight. This is important to ensure the process of settling is an easy one.

Book Your Flight Ahead

The safest time to book your departure flight abroad is three to four months ahead. This can help you save money and get the best travel deals on the market.

Take Inventory of Your Belongings Ahead

You should make sure that you take inventory of your belongings ahead before leaving for your choice destination. This can help you get the most important items and learn about the luggage policy of your flight.

Let Your Bank Know That You Are Traveling

Meet with your bank to let them know you are traveling. This can save you lots of banking issues such as procuring the required foreign exchange.


Studying abroad is not an easy process. It involves a lot of painstaking effort by a lot of students; however the opportunities which abound on completion of studies make the effort worthwhile.