Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that may be coming up for some of you! It can seem scary at first, but most say it’s a decision you’ll never regret.
Luckily my best friend just got back from a year of studying in Spain and she told me all about her experience! Here I have 10 tips to share with you that’ll ensure a great study abroad experience for all!
1. Embrace The Culture For Its Differences
Studying abroad will open your eyes to different ways of life and totally different cultures than your own. Embrace that! Our differences are what makes us beautiful. We’re all human and all experience life in different ways, but we experience it – and that’s how we’re all connected.
It’s amazing to see how different other peoples cultures are and to embrace that. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from our friends across the ocean!
2. Have An Open Mind
Having an open mind is essential to having a great study abroad experience. You’re going to be stepping out of your comfort zone, so it’s important to be open to the different experiences you’ll have and different ways of life than you’re used to.
If you close your mind up and aren’t open to going with the flow and changing a bit, you’ll find it hard to learn and enjoy your time abroad. So much of studying abroad is adapting to different environments. If you can do that well and try to relax, you’ll definitely have a great time!
3. Save Money Before You Leave For Traveling
When studying abroad, lot’s of people like to travel on the weekends or during the breaks that their program gives. It’s important to start planning and save your money before you leave for your program so that you’ll be able to go and see almost everything you’d like!
4. Plan To Spend A Little More Than You Think
If you’ve traveled before you’ll know that things don’t always go as planned! That’s why it’s important to plan to spend just a little more than you think you need, just in case of emergencies, etc.
My friend who studied in Spain said that on almost all of her trips or outings she spent just a little more than she had planned on, whether it was on something cute she saw in a local store, extra food, or a place to stay for an extra night!
Saving a safety net of extra cash before you go on your trips will help you to have a stress free study abroad experience.
5. Keep A Journal
Keeping a journal is an excellent thing to do when you’re abroad. Writing down things you’re going through or trips you’ve been on will help you to appreciate and remember the fun times you’re having.
Maybe one day you can look back on this adventure journal and remember all of your fun times! You could even put little pictures into the journal and maybe one day show your study abroad experience to your future children.
6. Keep Up With Your Homework
Just like it’s important to keep up with your homework when you’re at regular school, it’s also important to keep up with it abroad! It’s easy to not take it as seriously, but it will catch up with you.
If you stay on top of all your studies you’ll minimize stress for yourself and realize that on the weekends you can go and do more fun things. You won’t have to worry about lots of homework you’ve procrastinated and you’ll be able to enjoy your study abroad experience much more, as well as staying on top of your learning!
7. Take A Notebook Of Useful Phrases
In most study abroad programs you’ll be learning another language. You’ll be traveling a lot and interacting with people who may not understand English. That’s why it’s important to prepare a little notebook of useful phrases that you can keep with you while traveling.
If you’re not sure how to say or ask something, just pull out your handy notebook to help you get around! By the end of your study abroad experience, you’ll have them all memorized.
8. Speak To People Who Know The Language You’re Learning
Speaking to people who know the language you’re learning will prove to be very helpful in your study abroad experience. It’s also great to talk to your teachers who mainly speak the language you’re learning. They want to see you learn and they’ll be happy to go through normal conversations with you.
It’s also important to not be afraid to speak to some of the locals. There’s no better way to learn a language than to be fully immersed into it. You’ll be surprised by how much you know when you find yourself in conversation with a native speaker!
9. Pack Light
Packing light is super important when it comes to studying or even traveling abroad. Bring outfits that you can layer or mix and match. This will make the traveling experience much easier and stress-free while you’re spending time abroad.
It’s also nice to have a little extra space in your suitcase so you can bring back goodies for your friends and families, as well as souvenirs you’ve picked up along the way!
10. Plan Your Traveling and Book Things In Advance
Last on this awesome list of tips for your study abroad experience is to plan things in advance. If you want to travel while you’re studying abroad, it’s important to book your tickets and plan for your Airbnb’s in advance.
This will save you lots of time and money because the prices will go up the closer it gets to the time you’ll want to be traveling.
This will help you to stay organized and give you more time to focus on your studies instead of frantically planning for trips! If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to study and then enjoy your travels because you already have everything lined up.