Studying abroad is an enlightening experience. Students who study abroad learn new languages, experience different cultures, and often come home with a new outlook. If you want to study abroad, here are some tips to keep in mind before and during your adventure.
Learn about the host country. Before you depart on your trip, read as much as possible about the country where you plan to reside. Libraries, bookstores, and tourist bureaus are good resources to find out more information about the country. Learn about the nation's culture, customs, people, and history. Knowing as much as possible about the country before you leave will help lower the culture shock once you arrive in the host country.
Get required documents. Before leaving, you need to make sure you have required documents. You should have a valid passport before taking up residence abroad. Remember to fill in the emergency page of your passport. Depending on your study abroad program, you may also need to obtain a student visa. In addition, be sure you have medical insurance and medical evacuation insurance that would cover a medical emergency abroad.
Talk to other students who have studied abroad. These students will give you information that you can't get from a guidebook. They can give you advice on what to pack, how to make friends, and the cheapest way to call home. If you don't know anyone who has studied abroad, ask your advisor for names and contact information of students who have studied abroad.
Respect the host country. Once you are in the host country, you need to respect that nation's customs, manners, rules, and laws. Various countries have certain dress codes and manners. You should abide by these dress codes and manners as much as possible while studying there. Furthermore, it is important to learn about the local laws abroad and obey them. While in a foreign country, remember that you are subject to its laws.
Keep in touch with family and friends. Keeping in touch with friends and family will allow you to share your adventures while they are happening. It should also help to alleviate homesickness. Keep in touch via social media, email, phone, and letters.
Make friends with locals. In order to better understand cultural differences, you should make friends with the locals of your host country. They can share their country and family customs with you as well as show you certain aspects of the country that you may not find on your own (e.g. hangouts, museums, festivals).
Keep a journal or a blog while you're abroad. Keeping a journal or a blog will allow you to record your adventures so you won't forget your experience of studying abroad. Write about places you see, people you meet, and customs you learn.
Take pictures. Taking pictures of your study abroad experience will give you lasting memories and visuals to go with your stories.
Studying abroad provides memories that will never be forgotten. Try to keep these tips in mind so you will have an enjoyable experience. For more information about studying abroad, read Study Abroad: Benefits and Options.