Studying abroad is an experience you will never forget. You get to live in a culture that is entirely different from the one you are used to, you meet new amazing people and make friendships for life, and, of course, get to learn something new in a way far from the one you are used to in your country.
By the way, if this decision to study abroad was a spontaneous move for you, and getting accepted was something you did not see coming, then you probably need to know useful apps for last-minute travel decisions. Meanwhile, let’s get back to an upcoming experience of studying in a different country.
What are the things you should take into account to make the most out of this valuable experience? What can you do to make this year or several ones count? We have made a list of 5 tips on this topic. So, let’s get started.
- First, break the language barrier. Learning a new language can be complicated and might terrify some of you as a task you don’t feel like dealing with. Nevertheless, learning a language is not something you should be afraid of. It is your key to getting accustomed to the culture with all of its peculiarities.
Therefore, get a notepad, a pen and take them wherever you go to ask locals to write down the words you don’t know. Download special apps that will help you drill the words you are learning. For instance, you can get a Duolingo app entirely free of charge. It has a broad range of languages for you to learn, so it’s likely to find the one you need there.
Do not let language be in the way of you enjoying the most thrilling experience of your life.
- Stay away from dangerous situations. Make sure to plan your budget to avoid any debts or loans. Do not walk alone, especially at night and around districts you are not familiar with. Getting into troubles will not make your study-abroad experience fun. You will feel guilty and desperate, and that is not what you want.
Therefore, make sure to consult your local friends about the kind of things you should be aware of. They know these things better. The agencies aboard that invite students to study at local universities often inform them about any possible danger that can happen; however, your peers can tell even more. So, make sure to keep it safe.
- Make friends. For this, you need to be open-minded and tolerant of people from a different culture. You should also be proactive and initiate relationships with people you live among. In fact, you have more freedom than they do, as you do not have a burden of housework and obligations to stick to away from home. Therefore, be understanding and initiate things. You can host a party at your apartment, join a gym or a book club as well as talk to people on the breaks. Whatever seems to be the best way to create your personal network of locals will do.
Try not to stick to students from your country when abroad. This will discourage you to overcome the barriers and make friends among the local folks. And eventually, you will regret having no contacts left with people from a new culture.
- Eat local food. Sometimes it will look gross but just go for it. There is nothing more specific to a particular culture than its food. Ask for advice on the best restaurants that make traditional food or ask the family you live in to involve you in the cooking process. You will never regret being a part of it, as you will learn how to cook something that can potentially become your favorite meal and become closer with those you are helping with the dinner. Think of this part of the routine as your attempt to understand the culture better. Mimic whatever it is that the locals do to see what it is like to be one of them.
- Remember to travel. However, apart from going to the most popular places around you, ask local students to show you something not on a sightseeing list, something they believe is special about their area. They might take you hiking, or explore the abandoned houses, or go biking outside of the area. No matter what they suggest you do, join them and come along on an adventure.
However, make sure to have enough rest. Students tend to overestimate their strength and party all day and all night. You do not want to get bad grades, so make sure to take breaks in between your travels. The specialists state that it is better to have at least a few weeks between the trips, particularly in the beginning of your life in a new country. It is too much stress on your body already, so do not try to do the impossible and keep it safe.
These simple tips are likely to make you enjoy each second of your life as an international student. Stick to them, and you will go home feeling satisfied and experienced. Thanks to such experiences you start to think broader and get mature. Plus, you will always have stories to tell your children about a fun student life you once had.
Lori Wade is a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from entrepreneurship to online marketing. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. Lori is used to handling many writing orders at the same time and as she likes sharing her ideas and experience, she decided to write a great article for you to show how multiple tasks should be dealt with. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her in other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!
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