Adventures Across the Pond Installment 2: 7 Things to Remember When Studying Abroad

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from my time in London so far:

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1. Put yourself out there!

        If you are anything like me, making friends hasn’t always been the easiest thing. Since I can remember, I’ve always had anxiety about making friends... and the pressure of doing it abroad didn’t do anything to ease apprehensions. But my aha moment was when I realized that no one knows me here and I was free to be as crazy and authentic as I wanted to be. With that in mind, I just said “F-it” and made some really good friends.

 

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2. Try new things!

        This may be one of the most important things to remember when studying abroad. You are in a totally different country/city and it is your responsibility to explore that culture and environment. Instead of hitting up McDonald’s, try a local diner or take a day trip to the city center. Learn as much as you can while you are there!

 

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3. Drink if you want!

        Going hand in hand with number two, make the most of your experience abroad. If that means going out on a weeknight after you finish your homework, making mojitos with your flatmates or having a glass of wine with your dinner; make sure you are doing things that make you happy. Take advantage of the drinking age and live your best life. (This is more for my peeps in Europe and places with an 18 year old drinking age)

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4. Budget!

        In the spirit of “Do as I say and not as I do”, I advise you to budget...budget...budget! I can not stress how important this is. Making sure you know how much you want to spend on food, drinks and events makes your life so much easier and it is 100% worth the time and effort. You don’t want to have to resort to eating Ramen in Italy.

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5. Don't forget about home!

        I have legit called my parents every day since I’ve been here and I would totally recommend it. If you are really close to someone at home, Facetime, call or text them. I am sure they miss you and there is no harm in talking to them, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. (P.S. Make sure you get the whole time zone thing down, it took me a few days to remember that 8am for me is 3 am on the East Coast)

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6. Make memories!

        When you're down to your last 30 dollars and that boat trip or that play is $20, remember this point. When you look back at your time abroad make sure you have no regrets. Do everything you've dreamed of. Trust me, it will be worth it... not only for yourself but all the cool stories you’ll have when you get back home.

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6. Be spontaneous!

        Last but not least, remember to be spontaneous. Some of my best memories so far have been spontaneous things I have done with my friends, like getting my ears pierced today or ordering 5 pizzas and pigging out to Black Mirror .