So, you want to go abroad? Exciting! Get ready for a whirlwind of experiences! It’ll be great—you’ll travel, see the world, eat until your stomach can officially speak 4 or 5 romance languages, and maybe even find yourself a cute foreign boy. Who knows! Before you head across the world, you’ll need to fill out the ever-so-tedious application. Here’s what to do so you can prepare:
- Get a passport. Really important. Period. Do it soon, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute to finesse an emergency visa situation.
- Take time in filling out your application essays. They seem boring and long, but it’s more of a formality than anything else. Remember that schools promote students going abroad—they want you out of here! So, get writing, and be honest and open about why you want to expand your horizons.
- Ask about letters of recommendations. Make sure you do this early on in the process. Professors get really busy really quickly, so it’s imperative that you make your needs known as soon as possible. And try to ask professors that you know and really get along with. Maybe it’s your major advisor, and maybe it’s that one professor that you had first semester freshman year that was legit the coolest person on the face of the planet. Either way, they’ll be happy to sing your praises.
- Have fun! Take this time to really think about what you want to get out of studying in a foreign country. Whether it’s China, Spain, New Zealand, Norway, or Botswana, you’ll get something completely different out of this experience than you would back at your home university. This is an opportunity to take funky classes, get acquainted with the art and culture of another country, and step outside of your comfort zone. Get excited and get started!