As October 2015 approached, I received my first email in order to apply for James Cook University Singapore. By the time of the first email, I was not even thinking about my semester abroad.
By the end of November, I decided to start the paperwork requited by JCU. Not only takes it some time to gather all materials required, your passport should not expire within the next months. I was lucky to have a very understanding support and my application got through with the copy of the old passport and I just handed the new copy in as soon as I got it.
The expiring passport was not my only problem while preparing for Singapore:
Medical check ups are necessary and the recommended vaccinations should be done as soon as you know your destination. As for some countries there might be some vaccinations required in order to receive the visa.
You need to keep in mind that not every subject is recognizes by the Frankfurt School, just make sure too enroll for at least two business, finance or economic related classes to ensure your recognition.
When my final day finally arrived, I was feeling well prepared and ready to go. I would recommend getting a simcard as soon as possible, just to stay in contact with your family and also to find your way around with google maps.
As for finding an accommodation it is quiet hard to get lease contracts while you are still in Germany and I would recommend with making some appointments to visit the flat as soon as you are at your destination. For the first few days a hostel or an Air B&B is perfect. As I was arriving in my apartment, I did not take the suggestion in booking a hostel and rented an apartment over the internet, I was shocked. The standards in Singapore were completely different to German standards. So I decided to move out after two weeks and found another nice apartment. Do not stress out if you cannot find an apartment right away, host universities usually offer on campus living or have a lists of rooms for rent. Do not hesitate to ask your local contact.
Furthermore, you need to keep in mind that you are travelling in a, in my case a completely, different culture. It does not matter how much you read online or talk to former visitors, you will still find some things weird. But relax, you will get used to it and (nearly) every mistake is forgivable.
For the first day at the host university just bring things you would usually bring to a normal day at Frankfurt School. In addition to that bring your passport and student contract with you and everything else the university recommends you to. Also make sure to understand the terms and conditions of the university in terms of presence and absence of classes, sick days and exams.
Lastly, I would definitely recommend taking every chance to meet new people that is given from the host university. Making new friends from different culture is possibly one of the best parts of the semester abroad.
Be proud to represent the Frankfurt School in a different country and show the world what studying at Frankfurt School of Finance and Outperformance means! : )