Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

4 Study Abroad Dos and Don’ts for Loyola Students

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUM chapter.

Hello from Ireland! After serving as the Editor in Chief for Loyola’s HC chapter last semester, I am making my highly anticipated return back (cue confetti 🥳) for a surprise article, study abroad edition! I’ve spent the last two months in Cork, Ireland as part of Loyola’s study abroad program. To say that I’ve learned a lot over the past two months is an understatement. I figured I could share some wisdom with other Loyola students who are thinking about studying abroad or want to figure out how to decide what place is right for you. Here are some tips I’ve picked up on.

  1. DO: Research the available programs: This is actually something I didn’t do when I was applying for study abroad my sophomore year, even though I got lucky with the Cork program, which is great. Study abroad means different things for different countries, so it’s incredibly important to know which one is right for you. Some programs, like Cork, follow a schedule similar to Loyola (start classes in January, end in May). Other programs, like New Zealand and Australia, don’t start classes until late February. It’s important to plan accordingly. Other important things to take into account are money and living situations, among many other factors.
    • DON’T: Bring your entire closet with you. This might seem like a given, but it’s incredibly easy to overpack. I would recommend bringing the seasonal essentials (like a coat and warm clothes for the winter, dresses for the summer) and switch over if you have a friend or family member coming to visit who can bring clothes better suited for the change in weather. The best way to avoid this is to pack light when going. But also…
    • DO: Make space for your new stuff– I’ve been pretty good about getting new clothes here, but there’s new stuff that’s taking its place, like books and keepsakes. Be mindful about how you spend your money, whether it be on food, travel, or shopping. If you think that you’ll need more space, consider bringing an empty duffel bag in your luggage that you can fill with stuff for when you return. If there’s things that you’ll use abroad that you won’t use in the U.S., look into donating them.
    • DON’T: Get too caught up in differences: Yes, culture shock is a thing. No matter where you go, it will be completely different than living in the U.S. and going to school at Loyola. Learning to accept those differences and roll with them was something that took a while, but I can say that I’m adjusted to it now. Sure, it’s hard living in a new country, especially in the beginning, but leaning into those differences and embracing the unknown makes it easier to adjust. And yes, there will be things that feel completely out of your comfort zone. But that’s what study abroad is about (other than the academics, of course). Making the decision to study abroad and get comfortable with being uncomfortable is hard, but incredibly worth it.

    Wherever you go, just remember to look both ways!

    Rory is a senior Writing major/Journalism minor at Loyola University Maryland from Glenside, PA. In her spare time, Rory enjoys reading, watching sports, and spending time with her family and friends.