So you’ve made the decision to do a semester abroad – now what? While I’m sure you’re eager to get aboard that plane and jet set to your new residence, you need to make sure you are fully prepared for your big adventure. Here are 5 necessary preparations you must consider before your semester abroad!
1. Do your homework!
Now is the time to get to know your destination. By doing some research about the culture, history and customs of your home for the next few months, you will be able to better appreciate the country and enhance your overall experience while you’re there. You can talk to others that have been there already, search articles online and even watch movies and TV shows native to that country!
2. Brush up on your language skills.
Are you going to be studying in a country where the language is unfamiliar to you? If so, try and learn some basic phrases before you arrive. Having even the smallest bit of knowledge can help you to overcome that initial adjustment phase. So enroll in classes, ask friends for help or make it your goal to try and learn one new word a day. Every little bit will help you to break down the inevitable language barrier!
3. Put your money in the bank!
Creating a savings plan will be your best bet for ensuring that you’re prepared financially. You want to make sure that you will always have money in your pocket for weekend trips, shopping, dining or in case of an emergency. You can also do some research and find study abroad scholarships to use during your time abroad. Creating a plan and knowing your options will allow you to have the most fun with what you have to spend.
4. Form a communication plan.
How will you keep everyone back home entertained with stories about the amazing time you are having? Notify your loved ones that you will be studying abroad and figure out the best option for keeping in touch. If your cell phone provider allows you to make calls overseas, you can schedule a set time that you will check in with mom and dad. If your laptop will be on hand, install Skype to catch up with your bestie. Use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to your advantage with daily messages and photos. You may even consider starting a blog where you update everyone on your adventures!
5. Prepare yourself mentally.
Saying goodbye is bound to be tough for everyone, but instead of focusing on your nervous jitters, just think of all the exciting things that are about to happen! While studying abroad you will meet many incredible people that you will form new friendships with. Never forget that you also have a strong support system at home that will help you get through the challenges that come with living in a new environment.
While you can never be fully prepared upon arrival, hopefully these tips will put you more at ease. The memories that you are about to make will be more amazing than you could have ever imagined, so get ready!
Featured image source: katenilova.
MOIRA IS A 22-YEAR-OLD BALTIMORE NATIVE WHO IS CURRENTLY STUDYING PUBLIC RELATIONS AT ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY IN NEW YORK AND SOON TO BE GRADUATING. HER PASSIONS INCLUDE TRAVELING, FOOD, MUSIC, FASHION AND WRITING. SHE’S A POP CULTURE ENTHUSIAST AND SOCIAL MEDIA JUNKIE. YOU CAN FIND HER EXPLORING NEW YORK CITY IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT INSTAGRAM SHOT.