Advice For Those Who Are Considering Study Abroad

I started looking at colleges when I was 17 years old. On all the tours I went on, the tour guides would always bring up study abroad. Back then, if you asked if I would even consider going abroad, I would have said a hard no. Now I realise that studying abroad was one of the best decisions I made during my time in college. I am currently studying psychology at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland for a full year. By now, some of you may be heading off for a spring semester abroad or are currently looking into different programs for the coming year or semester. In this article, you will find helpful advice on studying abroad no matter where you decide to go or how long you are away.


1. Before you apply or go, check in with your advisor. 

This will be super helpful because you can sit down with your advisor and figure out what classes you can take while abroad. Also, your advisor might have some ideas on where you should study if you’re looking for a great program that has your major. Keep in mind your major and general degree requirements while you are abroad because this can influence what classes you take abroad and what classes you have to take when you get back. 


2. Research! Research! Research!

When looking at study abroad programs, it is important to gather as much information as you can. Research everything from programs that have your desired department to typical weather around the time you are away. Once you have been accepted into the program of your choice, start researching things like different housing options, immigration/visa policies, and the culture of the place you are going to. 


3. Once you have settled in, take some time to explore where you will be living and travel. 

When you have some time between classes, plan some time to go sightseeing around the city. For me, I live in the center of Dublin and I always go on walks when I just want to get away from the stress of school work. Each time, I discover new places and routes that provide different perspectives of the city. It also gives me an opportunity to try new restaurants and find new places to study other than my flat or the libraries at school. Also, take advantage of long weekends and breaks while you are abroad. This is the perfect opportunity to explore other parts of the country you’re studying in or visit other countries that are just an hour to an hour and a half flight away.  I took a long weekend to visit the west coast of Ireland with my friends and enjoyed every second of it! This March, I’m planning a weekend trip to London to visit a few friends from home. 


4. Look into the clubs and societies at your program. 

This is a great way to meet people in your program! Attend your program’s club fair and see if any spark interest. My flatmate is involved with the theater company at Trinity and she’s loved every second of it. Joining a club or society also allows you to try something new and go outside your comfort zone. For my flatmate, she always wanted to try acting but she had serious stage fright. Joining the theater club allowed her to conquer her fear. 


5. Last but not least: HAVE FUN! 

This is probably the most important tip! Take advantage of everything study abroad has to offer and make memories that will last a lifetime. You never know when you’ll be back. Enjoy it! 


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