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10 Things to Know About Study Abroad

  1. Embrace your host country!

    Being abroad is the chance to explore and experience the world on your own course, and you should take advantage of it; but remember you chose your host country for a reason, learn as much as you can about it, travel to different parts of the country, and really embrace yourself into the culture and customs of the country you chose to live in for the few months ahead of you! 

  2. Budget, Budget, Spend!

    Studying abroad costs money! Depending on where you chose to study, the currency can vary. Make sure you’re aware of exchange rates, food, living, traveling, and party costs! Budget your money, but SPEND IT! It’s your time to experience and spending some cash on a few extra things is worth it.   

  3. Make Friends with Internationals!

    A lot of times your host country will place you in living situations with other students from your home country who are also studying abroad. Yes, this is a good thing because you are all in the same boat, but making friends with residents of your host school and other international students will broaden your horizons and trust me will be a lot of fun! Friends from other countries will guarantee you a friend around the world when you travel now and in the future! 

  4. Join Clubs and Socities! 

    Yeah, I know you’re abroad and you don’t have time for meetings and responsibilities and all that because you’re just so busy in a new country, WRONG. You are still in school! There will be days where you are bored and the BEST way to make friends with the local students is joining clubs and teams. The best thing I ever did while abroad was join my universities soccer team, I made friends from around the world and plan on visiting my team soon! 

  5. Travel!

    Chances are you’re studying abroad pretty far away from home and if you’re on a different continent, traveling from country to country throughout the continent is easy and convenient. Take advantage of your location, the cheap flights and trains (RyanAir in Europe hint hint) and get around! Even if you can only afford traveling to one or two places, do it, you’ll love it. 

  6. Party Responsibly. 

    In most countries outside of the United States, the drinking age is 18. This will broaden your opportunities to go out to bars, clubs, and parties. However, remember to be safe and responsible. Just because you’re legal doesn’t mean alcohol is any less dangerous. Also, you’re in a new place and alcohol can hinder your senses, so make sure you keep in check and are always with a buddy and able to get home safely! 

  7. Eat Adverterously!

    Part of all cultures and traditions is the cuisine! Food is a staple point to many nationalities so immerse yourself even further into the culture by eating all the different food special to the countries you visit. You may find a new favorite food! Do not be afraid of new names or ingredients you’ve never heard of, those are always the most unique and sometimes the best foods! 

  8. Phone Home!

    Don’t forget to keep in contact with your friends and family back at home! Let them know about all the adventures you’re having on this life changing experience and keep them calm knowing that you are safe and sound. Post pictures, create a blog, anything to keep everyone back at home updates (and unintentionally jealous) of your trip! 

  9. Savor Every Minute!

    Your trip will go by quicker then you could ever imagine. Make every day count and remember that this is only the beginning, you have now done something so important for yourself you can accomplish anything. Being abroad is bittersweet, but worth every second. 

  10. Post Abroad Depression is Real.

    Yes returning home will be sad and you’ll give anything to be back in your host country, which has become your second home, but it’s okay I promise. You’ll miss the accents, the food, the people, the friends you made, that favorite local pub you have, the cashier at the store you always went to, that person you passed every time you went to class, but remember the memories you have are worth it all. It’s better to miss an experience then to have never done it. Appreciate what you have and love your home, everyone will be happy to see you so if the post- abroad depression is real, try and do all the things you love at home. Love that you now have a home here and a home away from home. 

I am a current junior with a double major in Political Science and World Religions at Manhattanville College. I aspire to work in the United Nations, or for the Military in cultural and political fields. 
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