Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10 Tips to Studying Abroad

 So many people let their excitement of studying abroad get the best of them and they forget some major keys in studying abroad. Don't get me wrong you should lose yourself in Education Abroad because you find yourself there too, but you also need to keep your head on your shoulders as well. I've thrown together a list of 10 tips I think are important to remember when going abroad. 

 

  1. Stay aware of current events at home and abroad
    -It's important to know what is going on in the country you will be living in so be sure to watch the news or read it online. Current events are very important to know and how they will be affecting the country your living in.
    -It is also important to keep up on the news at home so you know what you will be coming home to and what are important things in that might be affecting loved ones back home.
  2. Be cautious and aware of your surroundings
    -Take caution and know your surroundings, know which areas are safe and which ones are more dangerous.
    -Try not to be out alone at night
  3. Photocopy important documents
    - You can lose or replace documents very easily when abroad so be sure to leave copies of all your important documents with your home university and family in case of emergency.
  4. Keep up with currency exchange
    -Currency differs all around the world and it is important to know the country you are studying in and the current exchange rate. It helps you manage your money better and determine your expenses.
    -Here is a helpful link to Oanda, a great Currency Converter!
                      -http://www.oanda.com/
  5. Register your semester with Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
    -Registering with the U.S. Embassy is one more way to insure your safety and notify the your home country of your trip and that you will be out of the country for some time, so if they need to find you it is possible. 
  6. Get to know your host culture
    -In some cases while studying abroad you might be staying with a host family. This is your chance to fully immerse yourself in the culture and it's values.
    -Learn the country's customs, ask what the rules are and ask what they expect of you.
    -Respect cultural differences.
  7. Set a budget
    -Money will go fast while you are abroad so be constantly aware of how much money you have to spend and what you want to spend it on or what extra trips you may want to take.
  8. Journal
    -Journal, blog, whatever just get everything your doing down so you can look back later at all of your memories.
    -You may think there is no way you could forget some of the memories you make, but sometimes you forget the little things and its nice to have that simple reminder to always put a smile on your face. 
  9. Seek out resources
    -Know all emergency numbers just in case, you can never be too cautious. 
  10. Have fun, learn about the culture and make friends
    - Take every opportunity thrown your way to grow as a person, have a grand adventure, travel, make life-long friends and become much more culturally diverse!

In the end really just let the experience of education abroad change your life. As humans we are constantly searching for a purpose to life and why we are here. We are always trying to create a life we are proud of and when we are met with the end of our life's journey, one we can look back proudly on. Education Abroad if such a wonderful opportunity and is one of those life-defining moments, so truly let it be something that you can say changed you for the better.


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