Whether you’re jetting to Japan for the year or spending a semester in Spain, being an international student is an experience like no other. Scary? Yes. But ultimately a brilliant way to boost your confidence – and potentially chill on a beach in Bali while you’re at it. Here are 6 ways you’ll level up during your time abroad.
1. Take charge of tricky situations
Be it losing your luggage, stumbling by with a second language or simply searching for local sightseeing spots, studying abroad has its challenges. But it’s how you ride the ups and downs that will prove you can take on anything life throws your way.
2. Eat (almost) anything
You’ll be a long way from your go-to snacks, so it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. Whatever the local delicacy may be, take a chance and taste some – you’ll never know how good it might be until you try!
3. Overcome the need to nap
One of the best things about the student lifestyle is definitely being able to doze off in front of Netflix mid-afternoon on a Tuesday. But battling through jetlag on your semester abroad to adjust to a whole new time zone will teach you how to focus your energy to pull through those final year deadlines when you return home.
4. Find your way
Your exchange university may be a vast unknown land in comparison to quaint little Exe. So getting lost is inevitable. When Google Maps is on infinite buffer mode and your Egyptology lecture is somewhere in the mist beyond the botanical society’s allotments, you’ll learn it really is possible to navigate by nothing but the wind direction and angle of the sun. Bear Grylls has nothing on your skills.
5. Get along with different people
Although you’ll miss friends from home, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to meet people of all different nationalities. The friends you make on this ride will be some of the best – they’re the ones who will be there when you get homesick, the ones you’ll explore with, who will offer a you a place to stay the next time you swing by New York or Sydney. These guys will be your pals for life.
6. Speak a new language
There’s a reason your careers advisers say a year abroad will enhance your CV come graduation. Besides the invaluable soft skills like initiative and global awareness, this is the ideal opportunity to brush up your language skills. Whether you’re already a linguistics buff hoping to perfect your Spanish or trying out conversational Mandarin, your ability to speak a second language will be a great asset when it’s time to find that dream job.