The prospect of studying abroad is just as exciting as it is terrifying. Moving to a new country to pursue higher education is like pulling a tree by its roots and putting it in an entirely different environment. However, by looking out for a few important things you can make the most of your ‘studying abroad’ experience:
- Organization: Like every trip requires a detailed-out, step-by-step plan: an itinerary. The same goes for a trip abroad: to study, of course—organization. Start with travel: passport, visa, and tickets. Then think about what you’re going to do once you get off the airport. Can someone pick you up? Where will you be staying? Do you have their currency in hand? In these cases, it is best to have a person of contact on the other side. Maybe you can find a local student who can help you out. With Facebook and Instagram, this has become incredibly easy.
- Finances: It is easy to splurge, especially when you’re in a new country and completely independent. But with higher education fees and a higher standard of living, it is important to keep your finances in check. Keep a budget, for weekly expenses: include groceries, eating out and everything in between. Every penny matters. There are several students who take up a side-job when studying; this is something you could explore further.
- Social Life: Apart from studying, college is also about making new memories and trying new things. It is the last step before you step into the big bad professional world. And you need to make the most out of it. The best way to do this is to make friends; this could be through joining clubs, societies, sports teams and sororities. When you are studying at a global university, you meet people from across the world and build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime, both personally and professionally.
- Travel: All of these things could be achieved at any University, but when you chose to study abroad, you chose to become a global citizen, you chose to have experiences that people wouldn’t normally have. And in order to have a wholesome experience of studying abroad, it is important that you travel. It enriches you as a person.
- Internships: Take up as many opportunities as you get. When you’re studying abroad, you have access to some amazing opportunities and it is best to grab these with both hands and make the most out of them. Take up as many internships as you can, they make you prepared for the real world.
- Go Local: Homesickness hangs like doom when you’re studying abroad; it isn’t easy to fit into a new world with new people. But one way to do this is by befriending locals: learning their language, their food, their hangout spots and so on. Once you start adapting to their lifestyle, it will start to feel more like home.
- New Experiences: Try things that you’ve wanted to do, try things that you’ve never heard of before. This time is to explore new things, develop new hobbies. All these experiences will teach you something and make a better person out of you.
- Participate: The best way to know something is by asking. Attend your classes and participate: raise your hand; ask questions it is the only way to learn. Class participation is also a grade on your final report card; so don’t leave any stone unturned.
- Study: While it is important to have the time of your life, don’t forget that your primary goal is to get an education. So work hard to get the results you want: make a career plan, decide what you are going to be doing next, make the most out of this incredible opportunity you have.