5 Essential Pre-departure Questions International Mba Students Must Ask Their B-school

How exciting it is to finally receive that coveted Offer Letter to study in a Business School outside your home country.

Even if you are not travelling for the first time abroad, you need help to set you up smoothly as you prepare for your Orientation Day.

It can highly useful if the Business School has created an eBook on everything you might need when you land in that country, and emailed the eBook to you.

Otherwise, it is better to simply ask your friendly Business School staff before you even book your flight tickets. You can even ask them to connect you with a member of Alumni for support.

Using this Pre-Departure checklist before you board your flight can save you lots of time, money and stress after you step out from the flight:

#1 Airport Transfer

Question to Ask: Who will pick me up from the airport?

Most Business Schools, especially if they are part of a University, offer FREE airport transfer to any local address. Email the staff to connect you to the Manager of the Transport division.

You might need to share your travel details, including your name, name of flight, and arrival time. They would respond with relevant details to identify the person who will pick you up at the Airport.

And sometimes, it can be the Alumni group of the Business School who take up the responsibility for airport transfer as a ‘meet and greet’ opportunity.

#2 Temporary Accommodation

Question to Ask: Where will I stay in the first few weeks?

It is practical to shortlist accommodation online, sitting in your home country. However, only when you reach the new country can you know the feel of the place and finalize your new house.

Which locality to get a house, how far is it from the Business School, whether there is a public transport, is the house within budget – all these are best verified in person.

Otherwise, it is best to contact the Business School staff to arrange for two weeks of temporary stay in a residential college or a budget hotel that is trustworthy.

#3 Mobile Connection

Question to Ask: How do I choose a value-for-money mobile plan?

You can always get a new prepaid or postpaid mobile connection at the Airport. But, it is always useful to know who among the mobile service providers to go for.

Different providers may be good at different things. Some may have better connectivity and faster Internet, while others may offer extra data and SMS options.

Often the prices might be the same, and the only differentiator would be the quality of customer service. Unless they have a student plan, it is important to get this right before you arrive.

#4 Currency Exchange

Question to Ask: Where do I open I bank account?

You can’t do much if you don’t have the local currency to spend with, and there is a limit to the amount of currency you can convert and carry with you.

You would need a bank account to get started early. If the bank’s branch is close to the Business School, it has an ATM on campus, and charges no transaction fee, it is worth doing business with.

Check with the Business School staff about the most student-friendly bank. You can apply online to open your account, and visit the branch with your identity card to activate the account.

#5 Laptop Charger

Question to Ask: Where do I get a compatible laptop charger?

Nothing can be more frustrating that reaching a new country and finding out that your laptop charger is not compatible with the electricity socket of the new county.

Knowing the nearest electrical shop where you can find an adapter for your charger or a new charger compatible to that country is perhaps the first thing you would like to do.

Unless the Business School is perceptive enough to arrange a spare one for you, or you are happy enough to buy a new laptop in that country.

Last Updated: 20 February 2017

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