Study abroad is one of the greatest experiences you can have as a college student. The ability to live in another country and take classes while getting to know the people living there is something you cannot pass up. The experiences gained will stay with you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately many students think study abroad is too expensive, but the reality is that it is rather attainable. Loans and scholarships are readily available for students to use to fund their trip. For those who are lucky enough to participate in study abroad programs, here is some of the best pieces of advice:
- Learn the language. The best way to avoid being one of “those tourists” is to learn the language of the country you choose to study in. Rosetta stone has many languages you can easily learn and can be affordable for students.
- If you stay with a host family, get to know them. Creating a good bond with your host family is essential for a great experience. It also helps if you make friends with other locals and get to know more about where you’re staying.
- Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Missing your family and being homesick is perfectly normal. But doing everything you can possibly do while in your host country and taking risks you normally wouldn’t take are some of the best things you can do to maximize your experience.
- Be prepared. Check things with your bank to ensure your money is available, and get pre-paid phone cards if necessary. Be prepped and packed properly for where you will be living and be ready for the possibility of a long flight to your destination. Remember that the outlets are different in Europe than in the US. All of these things will help you.
Each of these tips are essential advice for students pursuing an experience of a lifetime. There are not many people who come home and say they hated every minute of it….Do your best to make sure you aren’t one of them. Make the most of it and enjoy everything.