How to Get Around in a New Country as an International Student


Getting around a new country is one of the first challenges many international students face at the start of their studies. Whether you are living on or off campus, it’s essential that you understand how to get around quickly and efficiently. 

As a new student, you will probably not buy a car immediately, so learning some practical transportation tips is good to help you navigate better. 

Let’s start by pointing out the common means of transportation for students in many countries.

  • Bicycles
  • Buses
  • Taxies
  • Trains and Subways

With that said, let’s get into the five best transportation tips for getting around in a new country as an international student.

Top 5 Transportation Tips for International Students Getting Into a New Country

Whether you are still planning or just relocated to study in a new country, hold on to the following tips.

1. Find a Map of the Transport Line

Each city boasts its own transportation network with detailed maps. Try your best to get these maps because they will help you understand the number of buses or trains set to traverse specific routes at specific times. 

Plan your journey by charting your travel itinerary and aligning it with the bus or train schedule. Keep track of departure times.

2. Leverage Transport Apps

In this era of digital technology, there are apps for nearly every facet of life, and transportation is no different. 

Be sure to download the official app for your local bus and train routes. These apps receive regular updates, providing you with a more precise insight into your travel arrangements. With such apps at your fingertips, you can plan your travel time more precisely.

3. Get a Transport Pass (If Available)

Numerous transportation authorities extend special discounts to students when purchasing transport passes. You have the flexibility to select from weekly, monthly, or yearly passes. 

These passes grant you the freedom to travel via your chosen mode of transport without the hassle of carrying cash for each journey. They prove particularly advantageous for those relying on public transportation for daily commuting.

4. Be Street-Smart

Crime knows no boundaries, and it can rear its head anywhere. 

While safety might be a given in some locations, it might not be the case in others. Therefore, staying street-smart is wise no matter where you are, especially when using public transportation. This entails staying aware of your surroundings without letting paranoia consume you. 

Mind you, being street-smart doesn’t mean you should become super cautious or overly trusting of everyone you meet. It means taking steps to protect yourself in any environment. Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and avoid leaving them unattended.

5. Never Forget Your Transport Card

Always leave your transport card securely nestled in your bag, wallet, or purse. Yes, regardless of whether it’s a mere bus ticket, train pass, or a conveniently accessible card. Safeguard it in a reliable location, and make sure it’s with you at all times. 

Even if you’re catching a ride with a friend to campus, it’s always a good practice to carry your transport ticket or card along. This way, you’ll guarantee uninterrupted access to public transport whenever the need arises.

Extra Tips

Aside from taking transport alone, consider the following options whenever you have to move in groups.

Car Rentals

Consider renting a vehicle for a vacation road trip or a long drive with friends. Many rental companies welcome international students with the right driver’s license. To ensure a smooth journey, make sure there are multiple qualified drivers in your group and proper insurance for the vehicle.

Car Pools

Numerous college students organize carpooling arrangements to get around during the holidays. 

In fact, many schools provide services to facilitate carpool formation, making it simple to find an affordable ride with fellow travelers headed in the same direction. Nevertheless, students should exercise caution when traveling with individuals they don’t know too well.

Final Thoughts

Learning to navigate a new public transport system can be challenging at first, but having the understanding will make settling in much easier for you.

Take time to get the map of transport lines and buy the appropriate transport pass for the public bus or train. Ensure that you also take advantage of transport apps and learn to always keep your transport card or ticket with you. 

You should also start preparing early for career opportunities in the new country you are studying in. Subscribe to a PTMA plan, and our team of career professionals will design the perfect plan for your career goals. 

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