Studying abroad is the highlight of many students’ time in college. In just 6 months, we get to experience freedom, travel, new friends, and new cultures; so it’s understandable that nothing else can really compare to a study abroad semester. After being overseas for quite a while, returning home to your friends and family might be bittersweet. Whether you were in Europe, Australia, Asia, or anywhere else; follow these tips to ensure that you have the smoothest transition from your study abroad to home!
1. Do last minute touristy things
Now that your semester flew by, there’s only so much time before you’re back home! Take advantage of the final few days you have in the area and do all the touristy things you haven’t yet – I promise it’s worth it!
2. Get yourself a souvenir
I don’t mean little trinkets from the tourist store that you will lose in a few months. Find something that will be a reminder of the great semester you had there: a photograph, music, artwork, etc.
3. Take pictures
When I came home from studying abroad in Madrid, my family was most interested in seeing the pictures I took, and it was the perfect way for me to share and explain my stories with them! Taking your own pictures is a great, authentic way to capture your experiences.
4. Go out to one last authentic dinner
Remember, you don’t know the next time you’ll get to visit this amazing place! The food is one-of-a-kind, so definitely expand beyond what you’ve already tried and order something new. You won’t be disappointed.
5. Pack smart
On my way home, my bag was more than 6 kilos overweight, so I had to do some last minute luggage clean out in the airport! Don’t be like me – you do not need to bring every single item back with you! This will also make going through customs much easier.
6. Get excited about going home
Even though you’re probably feeling sad about the semester coming to an end, remember to think about everything that’s waiting for you at home: your family, friends, pets, favorite restaurants and stores, your own room, and the comforting familiarity of your hometown.
7. Stay in touch with your friends
Before heading to the airport, make sure you say goodbye to all the friends you’ve made during your time abroad. Even though you’ll be apart, you can still keep in touch via social media and WhatsApp!
8. Share your experience
Now that you’ve lived abroad, it’s time to share your memories with everyone else! Tell stories to your friends, encourage others to go abroad if they can, and make sure to thank those who have made your study abroad experience possible.