Not everyone has the chance to study abroad for college, and those who had the opportunity to do so always remember their experience as one of the best in their life. In addition, it has also helped them build their network, their skills, and self-esteem, which has become useful for life outside the academe.
While there is no wrong or right way of studying abroad, there are various ways to maximize your stay and get the most out of your experience. Read on to find out the do’s and don’ts of studying abroad.
Do Explore Your Immediate Surroundings
Though most students’ main reason for studying abroad is to gain a degree that increases their competitive advantage after studies, don’t just stay inside your room and limit yourself to campus study. To maximize your stay in another country, explore your surroundings and check out the local attractions, delicacies, and people, to get a better grasp of the culture around you.
Do Make Friends Who Don’t Speak English
One good thing about studying abroad is the chance to get out of your comfort zone and experience a whole new environment. This new experience also involves making new friends who do not speak English, if you’re in a non-English speaking country.
Not only is it a good way to learn a new language, but it also helps you assimilate with the local population. In addition, you may find out that speaking the language opens more opportunities, especially if you’re planning to work in the country after you graduate.
Do Keep an Open Mind
Many students believe that their experience is universal. When faced with new experiences such as trying out the local food or other local experience, they often become close-minded or skeptical and they stick to their version of normal. This is doing yourself a disservice. If you don’t keep an open mind, you lose the opportunity to learn and experience stuff beyond what you grew up with. You also lose the chance to become better acquainted with the locals and the people you interact with.
Do Stick to Your Budget
It is important to have fun while studying in another country. However, don’t forget to stick to your budget. There are various ways to save money while still having fun such as using student discount cards, buying groceries and cooking your own food instead of eating out, walking instead of riding the bus for short distances, and so on.
Don’t Forget to Bring Your IDs Wherever You Go
Don’t forget to bring important identification documents such as your passport, health insurance, visa, or driver’s license if applicable, when you study abroad. When traveling around the country or going to another place, always bring your student ID and health insurance in case of emergency.
Don’t Go to Other Places Without Researching or Planning Your Trip
Plan and memorize your route for your daily travels and travels outside the city. Also, take note of the schedule of public transportation vehicles you have to ride. This will make traveling safer and smoother so you won’t be late for appointments.
Don’t Forget to Message Your Family and Friends Back Home
Studying abroad can also feel lonely at times, especially for students who are not accustomed to living alone or away from their families. Messaging or calling your family and friends back home is a good way to take care of your mental health, and homesickness.
Check out our other articles here at MSM Unify to learn more about living abroad and how to make your stay more fun.