6 tips for having an amazing study abroad experience
We know some of you are just starting out on a brand new study abroad adventure. So who better to offer you advice than super-popular travel blogger, Megan Claire? Read on…
Hi, I’m Megan Claire, and I’m a study abroad addict! I spent a year abroad in between high school and university, and studied abroad for three of my university summer semester breaks (in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Costa Rica). By the time I took my third semester abroad, you could probably say I was a pro! Here are my top 6 tips for having a great study abroad experience:
Tip 1: Get an International Student Identity Card
These cards are like gold and will save you hundreds of dollars all over the world! Card holders save money on sightseeing, restaurants, museum admission, movies, tours, clothing, transportation and so much more! Student IDs issued by your home university usually won’t be accepted overseas, however cards issued by ISIC are – and you can apply easily online!
Tip 2: Read up on your host country
Stay safe by researching your study destination. Information like what time the sun sets so that you’re not walking home in the dark, traffic safety (a lot of countries drive on the opposite side of the road!), which areas are safe etc. are the things you should know before traveling.
Tip 3: Sign up for class trips
You shouldn’t be chained to a desk for the duration of your study – you’re in another country, and often the best learning experiences happen outside of the classroom! The highlights of my time studying abroad were the field trips. You’ll see a side of the country that you wouldn’t have been able to see on your own.
Tip 4: Be a copycat!
Copy all of your important documents (passport, credit cards, ID, insurance, itinerary) and email scanned copies to yourself. Then if you do happen to lose anything, you can always print it out from your closest internet café. Keep the originals in a safe location; you’re going to be staying put for a while so you don’t need to be carrying them on you.
Tip 5: Be proactive about homesickness
Remember that homesickness doesn’t last, and your experience will fly by so quickly that once you are back home you’ll wish you were still abroad! Taking pictures of family and friends with you, and staying in touch via social media and Skype helps a lot with homesickness.
Tip 6: Embrace the experience
The greatest thing about studying abroad is immersing yourself fully into another culture. Getting to know the locals, eating local food and learning the language will only improve your experience.
Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.
Meg has recently launched Mapping Megan, an up and coming travel blog which aims to give you the best tips and advice on travelling, volunteering, living, working and holidaying abroad. She hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on her list!
Find out how you can study abroad in the UK, US and China with INTO.