1. See the Sights!
It may seem a bit unnecessary to mention this, but sometimes the obvious answer is the most relevant one. Wherever you end up, there will be so much to take in; don’t waste any time! Try to experience a new thing in the place you’re living at least once a day. You can’t miss out on the iconic sites, but you also want to actually experience the culture deeper than tourists can. Go to the small family business down the street, try the junk food that all 20 somethings in the area eat, see what it’s like to actually live there because that’s what you’re doing!
There are so many things to do, places to see, and people to meet. All of it can get hard to take in; journaling can help with that. Just taking ten minutes at the end of each day to write things down can help you take in everything you’re experience and process it all. It also will help you remember more when you look back on your incredible time!
3. Bee in the Moment
Getting wrapped up in extraneous things is always something we have to battle, but it’s especially important to fight that when you’re abroad. Don’t let too much drama take over, avoid getting sucked into the social media hole, and try to not focus too much on the picture taking process. Actually take in where you are! It is an incredible opportunity to study abroad, take advantage of it and don’t waste it by letting your mind be somewhere else the entire time.
4. Save your Snaps!
When you take a good picture or video on Snapchat, make sure to save it! Snapchat takes your saved items and creates “flashbacks” that are incredibly nice to have. At the end of each month, you can look back on what you did every day! Then, a year from your study abroad semester, when you’re gloomy about classes and missing the adventures, you’ll get a daily flashback to remind you of the amazing time you had. It’s a great nostalgic way to remind you of what you got to experience.
5. Stay in contact with home
Your time abroad will be amazing, but it is very possible that you will get homesick from time to time. An obvious way to combat this is to stay in contact with friends and family back at home. Set up facetime dates and times, send them your pictures individually to get some one on one contact with them, and give them updates on your everyday life just like you would if you were home. Not only will this help with homesickness, it will also give you a good basis when you get back after being abroad; it won’t feel like you were separated for so long if you stay in contact throughout your time away!