As a student, you should try to study abroad at least once during your time in college. It’s a wonderful way to experience different cultures and learn new things while having fun and meeting new people. To make your study abroad experience a memorable one, here are some suggestions for when you leave your homeland far behind.
1. Learn at least some of the language or slang – if you’re going to a non-English speaking country, you at least need to know how to ask for directions, assistance, and basic information (name, occupation, etc.). You probably should know some vocabulary related to your area of study, but that may not be entirely necessary. Even if your country’s native tongue is English, though, you may run into trouble if you don’t know the minor linguistic differences between your home country and where you’re studying. A quick Google search will set you right.
2. Remember the currency exchange rates – just because things look cheap doesn’t mean they are. Always keep track of how much you’re spending in your home currency so that you don’t overspend and end up broke when you come home.
3. Don’t be a xenophobe – nothing will put off the natives of another country if you refer to their different customs as “weird” or “wrong.” Give their way a chance. After all, you’re studying abroad; this entails learning about other cultures’ contemporary norms as well.
4. Schedule in personal time – the primary goal of your study abroad experience is to learn, but that’s not all there is to it. If at all possible, make sure you try to go out and do things that you personally want to do, such as see a concert or go on a scenic hike. Your journey to another country should leave you with cherished memories as well as a wealth of new knowledge.