Preparing to go

360 International pre-departure party

All students going on exchange must attend a full-day pre-departure
session. Pre-departure is designed to hep you prepare for your exchange and meet other students and exchange alumni.

Health and travel insurance

You must have appropriate travel and medical insurance for the duration of your trip.

Visas and permits

  • You are responsible for getting the necessary visas and/or permits for the country in which you will be studying.
  • We recommend you research the host university’s exchange or international student website, and the embassy or consulate of the country to which you’re going.
  • Allow plenty of time for your visas and/or permits to be processed.
  • Please note that 360 International can’t advise you about immigration requirements.

Travel arrangements

Don’t purchase your airline tickets until you’ve received an official letter of acceptance from the host university.  


  • You can usually find out about university accommodation on the host university’s website or application form. Follow the host university’s instructions. Check to see if there are deadlines or housing limitations – sometimes the university's accommodation office requires a booking before you know you’ve been accepted.
  • You can usually find estimated housing costs on the host university exchange or international student websites.
  • Many host universities offer student housing but can't guarantee it for all exchange students. Read up on how it works at your host univeristy. It's good to have a back up plan, so research rental options in the area.

Emergency contact

It is your responsibility to update your current contact details and next of kin emergency contact details on Student Services Online for the period you are overseas.

Orientation at the host university

Check out the host university's website for details. Orientation attendance is mandatory at some universities. Some universities charge an orientation fee and it’s your responsibility to pay this on time.

Culture shock

Adapting to a new culture often means stepping outside your own system of learned behaviour patterns. You may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Homesickness
  • Withdrawal — becoming isolated, avoiding contact with locals
  • Very negative feelings about the host people, culture, country
  • Anger, frustration, confusion
  • Compulsive eating and drinking
  • Need for excessive amounts of sleep
  • Irritability, loss of sense of humour
  • Inability to concentrate or work effectively
  • Excesses of emotion, over-reaction, worry
  • Large fluctuations in weight.

Coping techniques

Here are our suggestions for dealing with culture shock, and getting the most out of your stay overseas:

  • Allow yourself time to adjust
  • Be active
  • Go with reasonable expectations
  • Be a bit of a diplomat, and a very good guest
  • Travel
  • Avoid romanticising life back home
  • Make friends with the people around you
  • Get involved in activities/societies/clubs/events
  • Take on the challenges you can handle, but don’t overdo it
  • Talk to an advisor at the host university's international office
  • To the best of your ability, learn the language
  • Keep a sense of perspective.


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