When you begin your study abroad experience, you are bound to be feeling both excited and nervous. It’s something you prepare for months in advance, knowing that it will be the journey of a lifetime. But before you know it, the semester is over in what feels like five minutes and you’re on your flight back home. Studying abroad can be one of the most thrilling and rewarding experiences of your life, but it’s up to you to make it that way. Here are five tips on how to make sure you make the most of your time abroad!
Make a List
Before arriving to your new home, make a list of places you’d like to visit while you’re there. Research not only other countries, but also cities near you. You may not be able to see everything you’re hoping to, so be sure to organize your list by priority. Keeping this list of potential destinations will help to ensure that you always travel with a mission.
While planning ahead is crucial for bigger excursions, don’t be afraid to go on an unplanned adventure. Walking around your city? Stop in that coffeehouse you always pass on the way to class. Have some free time during the week? Take the train to a new town on your day off. Be a curious traveler and discover everything you can!
Meet the Locals
The locals in your city are what will give your experience personality. While you’re abroad, make at least one local friend through a class, a club or a sports team. Step out of your comfort zone and engage in conversation with everyone you meet. You never know what you may learn!
Don’t Waste Time
While it may be tempting to spend a rainy day inside your dorm watching a movie, you’ll only regret this later. Take advantage of every day you have! Always be out and about in order to further enhance your experience. Even on those rainy days you can find something to do!
Absorb the local culture fully, especially if you’re abroad for a short period. Learn the language and take part in local customs and celebrations. Heading to Germany? Then Oktoberfest is a must! Spending your time in England? Put Bonfire Night at the top of your list! Learn to live like a local and you’ll return home with some amazing experiences.
While you’re abroad it’s important to remember to always go out there and do it, whatever ‘it’ may be. Take an active approach to gaining everything you can from the truly incredible experience, but most importantly, savor every moment! Happy travels!
*All images taken by Moira Shannon
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.