Studying abroad is a dream, but don’t let the search for the best option become a nightmare. Whether it is your first or 100th time attending a study abroad fair, there are always last minute and unexpected things to remind you about. Take note of these tips and make the most out of your visit!
1. HELP, I can’t register! – if, for any reason, you can’t access the registration page, forgot to complete your details, have no way to print the invitation or can’t find it anywhere, don’t panic: send us an email to [email protected]com and our team will do everything to guarantee your place at our fairs. Besides that, there is always the possibility to register at the venue’s entrance (it will just require some extra time from you). If you already registered to the fair, write down the bar code and show us when you arrive. You’re on our list, for sure!
2. Arrive early – you know that you’re not the only one dreaming of studying abroad and you know, also, that, when there are options for grandfathers, sons and children, the queues may scare you. To avoid this, which is probably the most annoying part of these fairs, check the opening times and try to arrive 30 minutes earlier, at least. Even if you have to wait, you’re ensuring you’ll be one of the first visitors reaching the exhibitors and you’ll have time to review every option and ask all the questions carefully.
3. Bring company – your usual group: that friend with with whom you share your study abroad project, your mother, your father, your older brother who have already been overseas. Everything seems easier when you have someone at your side to help you decide. Besides that, have you ever imagined what it would be to face that queue without a good companion? Ask them to register with you!
4. Access and parking – this depends on the venue’s location on each city and the day the fair happens. Once more, the keywords are “inform” and “prevent”. On the day before, check if the building has parking space, how much does it cost, or if public transport is the best option. Estimate how long will you take to get there and look for alternative routes to save your time.
5. Take notes – so many different schools, agents, programs, courses and destinations. Now think: how would you be able to decide, with all this information stored in your head, only? Take your notebook, use your smartphone to make quick searches online, save contacts, addresses and names, make sure everything is clearly written so you can read it again, during or after the fair.
6. Take gifts (but don’t exaggerate!) – everybody knows that student fairs mean lots of gifts: pens, notepads, posters, key rings and so on… a wide range of objects that are useful, but which, in excess, may end up weighing on your shoulder and making it difficult to visit every stand. Take only the essential for you and save your time for what is really important: finding your perfect course. Next year, the gifts will still be there, but what about your course?
7. Pay attention to workshops, special opportunities and scholarships – what you normally find in a study abroad fair are already good opportunities, but be aware because sometimes, some exhibitors have promotional packages and special financing options that are worth it to take in that moment. There are also some institutions promoting scholarships and competitions which you shouldn’t let escape from you. Furthermore, don’t forget about the workshops, there is nothing better to learn more about a specific subject and there are lots of them for all kinds of preferences.
8. Talk and ask A LOT – that's what fairs are for. Online, you have all the basic information exposed, but only personally can you ask your questions immediately and without having to wait for an an emailed answer. Overall, be objective and give space for others to clarify themselves once you have finished. Too many people at your favourite stand and still got questions? Take another turn, think about your decision or talk to other exhibitors. There’s time for everything!
9. Practice your English skills – don’t be afraid! With schools and agencies from all across the world, study abroad fairs are the best place for you to start preparing your English skills (or other language you’ve already started to learn) before your trip. You’ll always have a native speaker for your country on every corner and the majority of the agencies representatives all across the world, but the best is to join the multicultural and social spirit of a student abroad from the very beginning.
10. Bring water – this tip is basic but always important, because even indoors you have to stay comfortable. Add to your “student abroad kit” a bottle of water and a light snack and leave your hills and party outfit to the trip: at the fair, you’ll impress with your determination and willingness to study overseas, even in the middle of thousands!