Studying abroad can be an exciting and transformative experience for college students. It can open up new perspectives, improve language skills, and provide opportunities for personal growth. However, studying abroad can be challenging and overwhelming, especially for first-time travellers.
To help students prepare for this adventure, here are 20 study abroad tips every student should know.
1. Research the Destination
Before embarking on a study abroad program, it is important to research the destination. Students should learn about the culture, language, customs, and history of the country they will be visiting. This can help them better understand and appreciate the local community and avoid cultural misunderstandings. Additionally, students should research the climate, transportation, healthcare, safety, and cost of living in the country.
2. Plan Ahead
Studying abroad requires careful planning and preparation. Students should start planning at least six months, and consult with their academic advisor, study abroad office, and financial aid office. They should also make a checklist of important tasks such as applying for a passport and visa, purchasing travel insurance, booking flights and accommodations, and packing.
3. Budget Wisely
Studying abroad can be expensive, so students should budget wisely. They should research the cost of living in their destination and create a realistic budget that includes tuition, housing, food, transportation, and other expenses. Students should also explore scholarship, grant, and loan opportunities to help finance their study abroad program.
4. Pack Smartly
Packing for a study abroad program can be challenging, especially when students are limited to a certain amount of luggage. It is important to pack smartly and bring only the essentials. Students should pack versatile clothing that can be layered, comfortable shoes for walking, a towel and toiletries, and any necessary medication. They should also pack a small backpack or daypack for excursions and day trips.
5. Learn the Language
Learning the host country’s language can greatly enhance the study abroad experience. Students should take language classes before departing, practice with native speakers, and immerse themselves in the language and culture once they arrive. This can help them communicate with locals, navigate the city, and better understand the culture.
6. Be Open-Minded
Studying abroad requires students to be open-minded and adaptable. They should embrace new experiences, try new foods, and participate in cultural activities. They should also respect local customs and traditions and avoid making assumptions or stereotypes about the culture.
7. Stay Connected
Studying abroad can be a lonely experience, especially when students are far from friends and family. Students should stay connected with loved ones through social media, email, or video chat.
8. Stay Safe
Studying abroad requires students to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Students should research the safety of their destination, avoid dangerous areas, and follow local laws and customs. They should also be aware of scams and pickpocketing and keep their valuables safe.
9. Immerse Yourself in the Culture
Studying abroad is an opportunity to immerse oneself in a new culture. Students should take advantage of this opportunity by participating in cultural activities, attending festivals and events, and exploring the local community.
10. Keep a Journal
Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, and keeping a journal can help students document their journey and reflect on their experiences. Students should take time daily to write down their thoughts, feelings, and observations.
11. Make a Bucket List
Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so students should make the most of it by creating a bucket list of things they want to do and see while abroad. This can include cultural landmarks, popular tourist attractions, and local festivals and events.
12. Don’t Forget about Academics
While studying abroad is an exciting adventure, it’s important to remember that academics should still be a top priority. Students should attend all classes, complete assignments on time, and communicate with professors if they have any questions or concerns.
13. Be Mindful of Cultural Differences
When studying abroad, students will likely encounter cultural differences that may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable. It’s important to respect these differences and avoid making assumptions or stereotypes about the culture. Students should take the time to learn about the local customs and traditions and be open to new experiences.
14. Try New Foods
One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through its food. Students should be adventurous and try new foods while studying abroad. This can include local street food, traditional dishes, and regional specialities.
15. Take Advantage of Travel Opportunities
Studying abroad allows students to travel to new and exciting places. Students should take advantage of these opportunities by exploring the local area, taking day trips, and planning weekend excursions.
16. Keep an Open Mind about Housing
Housing options while studying abroad vary widely, from dormitories to homestays to apartments. Students should keep an open mind about their housing options and be willing to try something new.
17. Take Care of Your Health
Studying abroad can be physically and emotionally exhausting, so taking care of your health while abroad is important. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and staying active. Students should also research healthcare options in their destination and purchase travel insurance before departing.
18. Stay Organized
Studying abroad can be overwhelming, so staying organised and keeping track of important documents and deadlines is important. Students should safely keep copies of their passports, visa, and other important documents.
19. Build Relationships with Locals
Studying abroad allows students to meet new people from all over the world. Students should take advantage of this opportunity by building relationships with locals. This can include joining local clubs or organisations, volunteering, or simply conversing with someone on the street.
20. Reflect on Your Experience
Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, and reflecting on your journey is important. Students should write down their thoughts and feelings in a journal, take photos to document their experiences and share their journey with others.
By following these tips, students can prepare themselves for this adventure and make the most of their time abroad. Studying abroad can be challenging at times, but with an open mind and a willingness to learn, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
If you’re looking for an enriching and educational experience abroad, BlueSky Education offers adult study tours in the UK, Australia and Singapore/Malaysia. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to broaden your horizons – visit our website today to learn more about their adult study tours.