Get The Most Out Of Your Study Abroad Experience

By maya.weber, 08 February, 2018

College is a time of intellectual exploration, and you will grow and learn more in this period of life than in any other that you have experienced thus far. If you are already in college, you likely have already moved away from home. If you are just getting started, this is the first time you have lived away from your friends and family in such an unfamiliar place. It can seem a bit daunting at first, but this is some of the most fun that you are going to have in your life. As a college graduate, one tip that I have for any college student is to experience a study abroad program if it is financially feasible. There is nothing like travelling to a foreign country to actually see some of the things that you have discussed in your classes. For example, studying in Italy and seeing some of the art museums they have to offer or going to Central America to see Mayan ruins will help you look at the subjects from a whole new perspective. Here are a few tips to help you make sure that you get the most out of your study abroad experience.

 

Choose an Area Related to Your Study

 

Making sure that you choose the right country for yourself is of utmost importance. If you love Spanish class or you are majoring in Spanish, then you should think twice before you study abroad in Italy or Germany. You want to be able to actually experience the sites and cultures that you have been reading about and discussing in your classes. This will give you a whole new perspective on what you have learned in college. On a similar note, make sure that you embrace the culture that you are being immersed in. In some countries, it's easy to surround yourself with people from your home country that speak your native language. While you will still have fun, you may not get as much out of the program as you wanted when you signed up for it. Try making local friends that don't speak the same language as you. If you want to learn Spanish, don't be afraid to try chatting up the taxi driver in Spanish or making a local friend that will speak the language with you.

 

Watch What You're Spending

 

When in a foreign country, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and spend as though it is a four-month vacation. There are so many sites to see and places to eat that the money goes out a whole lot faster than it comes in. Unless you are planning on finding work while you're abroad, then you need to be able to budget your money appropriately so that you don't end up sleeping on floors your last two weeks of travelling. One place that you can cut your costs is in purchasing your school textbooks. There are sites that will help you save some money on expensive school textbooks so that you can use that extra money to do some more sightseeing or stay in a hostel for a couple extra nights. Some classes may not even end up using the textbooks that they say they will be using, so you may want to consider waiting until the class begins to see what texts you will actually need.

 

Be Safe

 

When you're travelling in a foreign country, you agree to live under the laws and customs of that country. This means that the way you act in your home country may not be the proper way to act when you are in a foreign country. Make sure that you read up a little bit about what parts of the country you should think about avoiding and what you can do to keep yourself safe. No matter what country you are in, you should never go out at night by yourself or go home with someone that you have never met before. While the cases of students abroad going missing are relatively few, you do not want to be the victim of one of these crimes. Make sure that you always have a friend with you whether you're a girl or a guy, and above all just use your basic common sense. If someone seems sketchy, then leave them as soon as possible.

 

Studying abroad can be one of the most fun, enlightening and mind expanding adventures that you will ever experience. It will open your mind to new ideas and possibilities that you never previously thought would happen, and you will forever look at your home country in a different way once you live in another country for a while. If you go, be smart and be safe, and you will be just fine.