Wednesday, 6 July 2016

10 Must Do's : After receiving an Admission Offer

1.  Learn to Cook
First Things first. This is probably the most important tip. All these years perhaps you have never bothered to cook , but this tip is going to make a lot more sense when you actually start your life as a student. No one is asking you to cook like a chef or take special cooking classes. You are expected to know hook to cook the basic food items. Take time out weekly and learn the basic lunch and dinner food items from your mum , home cook, or just Youtube it. 


Trust me, this is going to help you to curb down on unnecessary expenses and will also keep you fit. As an add-on you will also get a feeling of self satisfaction, as it gives you a true sense of living independently. Eating out once in a while is fine, especially when you have exams, its totally okay to eat outside, but overall you are going to save a lot if you are cooking yourself.

2.  Book your Flights 
Richie Rich ? Never Mind; Saving money is always good.
Booking your flight late will seriously burn a hole in your pocket. It is advisable to book your flights just after you receive the admission offer. This way you can always save a considerable amount. 
Example : I had booked my flights nearly 100 days before my departure and paid a price of 57,500 INR . One friend booked 10 days before me and Paid 48,000 INR. Similarly another friend booked his tickets just a week after I had booked my tickets, he paid around 66,000 INR.

See the difference ? Such differences in fair prices approximately 100 days before departure. Now can you Imagine what the prices will be just 30-40 days before your departure ? The point to note is that , there is a lot of rush in booking your tickets since this is the peak time for student travel so ticket availability will also be a problem if you aren't early in queue. So do not delay. 

3.  Searching for your accommodation
This is a very difficult task as its very risky to book a room without actually having a look at it.
For this , some guidance from the seniors is needed. However be proactive and start your search immediately after you receive the admission letter. There will be plethora of websites where you can find housing . Usually the university hostels will be nearly twice as expensive as the ones available off campus. 
The best suggestion I can give is that you should talk to a senior first and see if temporary stay for 4-5 days could be managed. This would be enough time for you to search for good housing option. After having confirmation of the temporary housing, search the websites to find out rents close to the university campus of areas from where direct transport is available to the university. Contact the landlord and have a brief conversation with him regarding the advertisement for rent which you saw. If you are convinced then note down the particulars in a document . Do this for about 10-12 houses that you like from the advertisement. This is really important because you might have had a talk with the landlord now over phone that the room was vacant but the very next day it might be taken by some other student. You cant really expect the landlord to expect to wait for you , can you ? So for safety sake, keep your options open. 

4.  Prepare Baggage Checklist 
" Lighter the Luggage Smoother the Journey "
Don't leave your packing for the last minute. Again maintain a notepad for this. Have separate sections for clothing , medicines, gadgets , essentials , utensils. As and when you remember something , just jot it down in your notepad. This will save you a lot of time and in this way you wont miss out on any necessary item. 
Have the final list ready atleast 2-3 weeks before your departure. Now fianally scrutinise the list to see if you can do without certain items. You need to remember that you will be entitled to only 2 checkin bags (sometimes 3 due to student offers) of 23kgs each , so pack judiciously. 

5.  Scan upload all your documents / notes in the cloud 
This again is extremely important. Take a note of this. Be it dropbox, google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or BOX, just use any service and get all your documents backed up in the cloud. 
Well its even a better idea to keep the Softcopy-backup of these documents on a separate pendrive as well. 
Examples : 

  • Passport (front and back page )
  • Visa & Work Permit 
  • Admission Letter
  • Financial Documents 
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Resume 
Now coming to Books and Notes. Trust me, if you are considering of carrying many text-books from home, then you might as well want to reconsider. Carrying books is a nightmare, because those heavy volumes will make life tough for you to stay within the baggage restriction weight limits.

Pro Tip :  Carry at max 2-3 books (at MAX) better still if you can do without them. But sometimes, there are just certain chapters from a book or certain class-notes you think will help you revise better ; for this case just scan those notes into pdf's and upload it into your cloud storage as well. 
Trust me, you will need to this . 
TORRENTS are BANNED, so don't even think that you could download e-books easily there. 

6.  Prepare your Professional profile 
I'm sure you must be having a LinkedIn account ; if you don't then create it right away, and keep it upto date. Secondly make necessary changes in your resume. 
A quick tip . Have a personal Website, it really helps. Its not as expensive as you think . Just buy a domain from GoDaddy or BigRock for 99 and use a website builder if you don't want to spend time to create one on your own. 
I would recommend all to try building the website by yourself, if you are a newbie into web development. This way you will learn some extra skills, & frankly speaking it is better to make use of the time between the admission offer and boarding your flights.

7.  Take Refresher Courses

"An early start is a smart start

Be sure to start revising your course prerequisites and start your preparation to have a head start in the race. 

You have to keep in mind, that you will have to cook yourself, do the dishes, and Iron your own clothes. All this would take up a lot of time, also to add the first few months that you will need to adjust to the changing climate and the surroundings. 

You need to remember that your classmates those who are permanent residents wouldn't have to do all of this. They have their family members to take care of that. So they will be one step ahead. So utilise the 2-3 months before your departure wisely. Make an effort to brush up the concepts before you start your classes. 

8.  Prepare Mailing lists for Internships and Jobs
If you follow this tip , then you are already half way through the race.
Prepare you mailing lists from NOW !! 
This doesn't mean that you have to spend all your time in collecting contacts. The process becomes really very simple if you follow an organised approach to store all your contact data. 
Take this for an example : A few minutes back I was reading an article about proton mail and its features. I quite liked the concept and was looking through their website and from there i stumbled upon their careers section and found out that they were recruiting currently. 
Even if you aren't looking for an internship or job currently, collecting the email address or the link would not cost you much and mark my words , this mailing list is going to help you some day or the other. If you store all the information in a Spreadsheet table , it is even more organised and is going to save you last minute hunting for internships. 
Also keep following the companies you are interested in and use the LinedIn jobs Mobile app.
Additionally read about the companies on Quora and Glassdoor to find out find hand employee experience , work culture and the remuneration / stipend. This hardly takes 10 minutes to record in an excel sheet. Spend 10 minutes on this everyday , and i promise you that you'd be glad that you stumbled across this post and followed it.

9.  Banking & Finance, Save Money, Spilt Expenses 
Time for money matters. This post is for those people who visit a bank twice or thrice before going to study abroad.
first time - to open an account 
second time - to apply for a loan 
third time - to sign the final documents / currency exchange.

OK jokes apart. You need to understand the common banking terms and know how it actually works. For example the different type of accounts, their advantages, eligibility and Interest rates .
Every bank has a relationships manager, just consult them if you have trouble in understanding the terms. Its always good to know.  

Now about saving money. 
Now do i have your attention ? OK PRO TIP. Next time you see such in any mall . JUST IGNORE. Because most of the shops will be having such gimmicky discount offers , don't just fall for it. The shopkeepers have a very simple agenda .... TRANSFER OF MONEY FROM YOUR POCKET TO THEIRS . Thats it. 
You will see just because of sales or discounts you would be buying unnecessary things ; things you wouldn't have bought . Maybe you had planned to purchase one faded denims but now after seeing the offer you would be tempted to buy 2 more to get the fourth one free. If you fall into this trap then you would be exceeding your monthly budget quite often. To cut down on unnecessary expenses, just note down all the essential things you would buy when you visit the mall. Follow the list and keep the deviations minimum. 
I AM NOT SAYING OFFERS ARE BAD , because that is seriously not what i am coming at. Offers are really helpful when you need them, but that doesn't mean you would keep overstocking and overspending now, for something you might just need in the future . (Try googling time value of money ).

Now about splitting expenses.
"GO DUTCH " . in EVERYTHING. There is nothing to feel shy in this. There are plenty of expense monitoring and expense splitting apps you can make use of to track your expenditure.

10.Exercise / Have a Hobby
Exercising will keep both your body and mind fit and help you beat the stress . Maintain a regularity. 
When you are in good shape, you are much more confident . This counts . Your overall body language will be very positive .
Having a hobby is very necessary. Play some sport , join a group or learn something new. Trust me your course curriculum is going to be hectic and things will get very monotonous. If you inculcate good habits and have a routined life, then it will make things easier for you. Having a good hobby is going to balance the coursework pressure.
Don't forget to enjoy Enjoy  #
Meet your friends and family before you leave for your study as you won't be meeting them soon enough. 
As for your parents , if they aren't well versed with the computer then teach them how to operate any messaging app or Skype. This will help you in cutting down on your (& theirs) phone bill.

Indulge in having all your favourite food items, as you might just miss them when you are abroad ( either they wont be easily available OR they will be very expensive ) . 

**If i have missed out any point , or if you want more details about some specific point, then do leave me a message in the comment section below**

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