Know the geography
No matter how much lucrative a place is in words and what you have read about a place in Quora, knowledge of geography is important. Some cities are really good to live, but in the same cities called paradise on earth some place may be volatile. Atleast this thing I have seen in India capital New Delhi. Read a book, subscribe news paper and surf internet to know what’s happening in daily life of people in the city you are planning to go and stay for next couple of years.
So you do not feel like alien knowledge of local culture, people and places holds utmost importance. About.com and Wikipedia.Org are two good resources to learn about places. Also you can count on communities like Quora.Com and Facebook Groups etc to know more.
Learn Common Gestures
How to wish someone casually or on special occasions? Different cultures have different settings and different social norms. Are you going to USA? Like India, do not hold hands of your friends else you will be considered as homosexual.
What I like about Brits is they never forget to say even for smallest of the help. And that’s called British decency. Always wish Thank You to everyone who helps you out. Say thank you to the waiter in the restaurant who serve you food. Say thank you to the cashier at sales counter.
Decency comes for no price but you can buy everything from it.
Read Travel Warning
You are accepted in a college abroad. It’s time to set you in the new settings. Get there atleast 1 week or 10 days in advance before academic session begins. So when classes starts you have nothing to bother much.
Sometime due to outbreak of a disease or a natural emergency government’s put restrictions on expats entry. Know the travel warning from the respective government’s website. Traveling in advance will help you in avoiding trouble in case if entry of expats is banned temporarily due to some reasons around admission dates.
Listen to your inner instincts
When in busy place like shopping mall or public transport be watchful. While in crowd take care for your belongings. Do not stay in lonely place and if you feel something otherwise try to get away from one such spot immediately.
Be watchful at Bank's ATM
While withdrawing money, take precautions. Also do not keep too much cash in your wallet.
Late Night is a No
Until and unless it’s not an emergency do not stay out from your accommodation till very late in the night. Lonely streets are sweet spots for thieves. If you must need to go, avoid passing through dark lanes. Prefer busy streets and well lit areas.
Stay like locals
Prefer a dress that local people wear often. That way you will mingle up well with the masses. Do not be a show off. A Rado watch or jewellery set is not something to flaunt. Simplicity is the key.
Racists are rascals!
All said in 3 words here. You are in a foreign land to learn new things and improve humans’ conditions. Shame on those people who get involve in racist activities. Just in case if you get caught into one such situation, best avoid it and leave the spot.
Use the power of social media like facebook to find friends from home country. Those already living there will prove helpful. Also you can join local societies in campus for networking. Normally all campus have such groups like Group of Asians or Indians etc.
Know locals well
Reading local news will be of immense help. Once you are in the new city subscribe to local newspaper. You will get to know lots of things like places of entertainment, food, sports and local culture. Most importantly you will be if there are volatile zones and you have to them.
Passport is important documentDo not show your passport to strangers. If someone ask for your passport ask back to the person for his or her ID. A wrong person will escape.
When you loss attention it’s the merry moment for thieves. Avoid places where there is to much crowd. And if you are caught in one such situation get away as soon as you can.
Know the traffic rules
Even if you do not own a car knowledge of traffic rules is equally important for pedestrians too.
Alcohol is not fun
You are away from home, perhaps you will like to enjoy your fair share of freedom. But over drinking is definite NO.
Talk often to your family. If you have local guardians keep him / her informed about your whereabouts.