9 Tips to Study Abroad for International Students

Few experiences provide as many learning possibilities as time spent abroad. Close your eyes, though, and those weeks and months will vanish like sand through a sieve. A much better strategy? Dive in and govern your time abroad with these nine methods to make the most of your study abroad experience.

1. Get organized before leaving

Putting off paperwork till the last minute results in tremendous hassles! Before you leave, ask your study advisor, teachers, or previous study abroad students what is expected of you during the preparatory stage. Health insurance, budget planning, homestay arrangements, weather, and airport pickup are all important factors to consider.

2. Set goals for yourself

Whether you want to learn a new language, explore a new major, or pursue your dream degree, don’t take the “study” out of “study abroad.” This isn’t to suggest you won’t have fun while abroad; there will undoubtedly be plenty of it, but keep in mind that your program is, after all, an opportunity to gain valuable skills that will help you in your future job.

3. Immerse in the local culture

Aside from knowing a little bit of the local language, successful study abroad students learn everything they can about their soon-to-be-adopted culture before boarding the plane. Discover books, movies, food, and music that will inspire you. Investigate the culture’s major writers, singers, athletes, and actors, as well as current happenings. That way, you’ll feel like you already have a connection with your new house and will be well-versed in a few topics of conversation.

4. Keep your mind open

This advice is frequently provided for good reason: it is crucial! Don’t go to your adopted country with preconceived notions. Instead, open your eyes, relax, and take in the culture; you’ll probably discover that many of your assumptions about life in another country were inaccurate. Instead of thinking or saying, “Oh, in my nation, we do things differently,” go along for the ride.

5. Take cues from the locals

When in doubt about how to act in a new environment, look around you: the locals are your best guides! It’s a good idea to ask your host family or teachers about their culture’s norms and unspoken regulations when you first arrive, and to continue doing so throughout your stay.

6. Deal with homesickness

Hiding or dismissing these feelings will only exacerbate them. Instead, avoid attacks of homesickness by staying in touch with family and friends on a regular basis. Phone, write, talk, or blog your way into their world while also sharing what’s new in yours. But don’t forget about your new pals or your new surroundings.


7. Watch your hip pocket

Resist the first temptation to waste your budget on beautiful trinkets, meals out, and traditional handicrafts. Remember that you’ll be at your new home for several months, so your money must last. To stay inside your budget, utilize this time to understand how the natives eat and shop. Ask your professors or host family about local rates for services and transportation to avoid paying more. Our best advice? Find a part-time employment if your visa conditions permit. Not only will your money increase, but so will your language skills!


8. Make new friends

After class, don’t just go straight to the other study abroad students; make an effort to become friends with the locals as well. Having at least one local acquaintance will not only provide you with a greater understanding of your adoptive culture, but it may also lead to invites to special events, sporting events, and traditional festivals.


9. Study

Keep in mind why you are overseas in the first place. There will be moments when your homework is heavy, you are homesick, or you simply do not want to study at all: put your head down and get started! While it may sound cliche, this overseas experience truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and if you take advantage of it, you will reap the benefits for years to come.


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