How to Make the Most of Studying Abroad
Arriving in a strange country and then staying there for an entire semester or a year can be difficult for anyone, but those who are studying abroad face new challenges. Make the most of your study abroad experience with these tips.
Live as a Local
Try your best to live like a local by making friends with as many locals as you can, by trying local dishes, by finding your favorite spots around the city and by embracing the local customs. Most people will have the opportunity to travel to different countries after college, but they may never have the opportunity to live as a local once again. When you study abroad, you are actually living in a foreign city and have the opportunity to experience the city in a unique way. By making new friends on your trip, you can learn more about what it is like to live in a different place and even have a friend to visit with in the future.
Learn the Language
If you are studying abroad in a foreign country with a foreign language that you do not understand, learn it before you go. If you have taken language courses, brush up on your knowledge and try to learn colloquial terms. Once you have a basic understanding of the language, use it with all of the locals that you encounter so that you can gain a richer experience of the country as well as learn the language better. Remember, practice makes perfect and there is no better way to practice than to practice with native speakers!
Try to Leave Homesickness Behind
The experience of living in a new country can be overwhelming, but homesickness can make an otherwise positive experience turn negative. Understand that you will most likely experience homesickness in some way on your trip, but remind yourself to let it go. We recommend speaking with your friends and family on Skype for more interactive moments together. Just remember that you should still get out and experience everything there is to offer in your country instead of staying holed up in your room talking to old friends and family members.
Don’t Let Studying Be Your Focus
We know that college is all about learning and studying is a major part of that. However, you might never have another chance to live in a foreign country and you should enjoy it while you can. Try to take classes that are easier while abroad so that you can focus on getting the most out of the country instead of out of the classes. Try to make learning a more hands-on experience by traveling to as many different parts of the country as possible and visiting as many places as possible instead of taking difficult classes.
Have you already studied abroad? If so, let us know about your study abroad experiences below and your tips for making the most out of studying abroad. We want to hear from you!