Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Merrimack chapter.

Studying abroad was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I would recommend it to everyone, it helped me grow and learn so much about different cultures and about the world. It also taught me a lot of things about myself. In this article, I will go through some of the top things that I think you should know while studying abroad. 

Your first week will be hard and you might think to yourself, “Oh no, why did I do this?” The most important thing is that you need to remember that so many people are in your exact same shoes as you, and you should not feel bad for feeling this way. It will get so much easier after that first week to the point where it will honestly fly by. One thing that helped me was staying out of my room as much as I could. You have a whole city at your fingertips to explore, so why stay in your room? Whenever I was bored, I would go to museums near me, or just go for a walk to get outside. You should do whatever you can to stay out of your room. For example, when you are doing your homework, go to a cafe or a park. However, there will be days that you will be in your room. You should not feel bad that you are wasting a day because, I know I struggled with that, but it is okay to have rest days. You will have days where you are sad, and want to go home, which is okay. You cannot be hard on yourself for thinking this way. Personally, I was hard on myself and would think that I was wasting a day, or wasting the experience, and just wanting to go home sometimes. You will have your hard days, but you will also have absolutely amazing days and those days can change your outlook on life. Keeping yourself busy will distract you from those hard days, so on the easier days definitely go out and explore. 

One thing you should definitely do is get to know your surrounding area in the city you are staying in. Do not just scratch the surface, make friends with people working at places you often visit. I went to this restaurant often and made friends with one of the workers there, and the same with a cafe I went to. Getting to see these friendly faces all the time was so comforting. While you should try as much as you can, you really should get to know the city itself you are living in as well. While traveling, I suggest you try to plan ahead, but do not block yourself in. When flying, flights might be expensive, so try and book them in advance, because they will be cheaper. You should try to plan out the places you want to go and see who would want to come with you, or if you just go by yourself. While studying abroad just be smart about your surroundings and you will be okay. I never really felt unsafe because I was always aware of what was happening around me. One thing I have noticed is that people in Europe are very nice and love to talk to you even with the language barrier sometimes. 

Going back to traveling, do not feel bad about spending a lot of money. Personally, I was feeling bad about spending all the money I made the summer before. However, look at it this way: you can make back the money you spent, but this experience is once and a lifetime. So do not be afraid to treat yourself!

Overall, the study abroad experience was amazing and I would highly recommend it to everyone! I learned so much about different cultures and about the world. Most importantly, I got to see the world from a different perspective. I got to travel to 9 different countries and I learned a lot. The whole experience taught me so much about myself, it is hard to explain how much I learned from it. I think it helped me as a person greatly. So, if you are thinking about studying abroad, remember to be safe, travel a lot, explore your city, and be okay with spending money. Finally, learn about the world and yourself!

Katie Duray

Merrimack '25

I am a junior at Merrimack college studying Early Childhood Education with a minor in Human services and disabilities. After graduating I hope to teach 1st or 2nd grade. In my free time I like to hang out with friends, go to the gym, and listen to music.