We truly live amazing times, now more than ever – we can easily notice this even when looking at how accessible it is for young people to relocate from one country to another for their studies. To this end, studying abroad can be one of the most enriching and thrilling experiences of your entire life. It’s an experience that broadens your horizons, facilitates meeting new people and understanding new cultures, while at the same time helping you develop like never before.
However, if you jump on board this experience without knowing what to expect, you may encounter some struggles that can take away from the blissful feelings brought on by newness. So here’s how you need to prepare and what to expect when traveling abroad.
How to Better Get Prepared for Studying Abroad
1. Choose Wisely, You’re In Charge of Your Future
Since this is so much more than just a weekend getaway and you’ll spend years studying in a completely new country, you’ll need to make an informed decision regarding two aspects. The first one should consider the field of study you’d like to be in for the next years of your life. Would you see yourself continuing a career in that field of work? Is it something you’d actually be passionate about studying? If so, would these classes be acknowledged in your country? The last thing you’d like to go through is to look back and see if you’ve spent your time in vain.
The second aspect you need to do careful research on is the actual country’s culture and how it fits your own personality. Learn about the country’s local traditions, the way its people interact with one another and see if they naturally resonate with your soul. By overlooking this aspect, you can easily end up spending your time feeling disconnected, jaded and longing to get home faster.
2. Create a Well-Established Itinerary
If you want to enjoy your new experience from the very first moments, you will need to ensure your itinerary is up-to-date and all your connections are booked from the get-go. Sacrificing a bit of time while you’re still at home means you don’t need to sacrifice time while you’re traveling and you also don’t need to spend the extra cash you could actually put to better use.
Another great way to get around and avoid negative feelings is to actually carry a printed map of the new location with you at all times. This will allow you to not depend on your phone and an internet connection, in case anything doesn’t go according to plan.
3. You Can’t Avoid Homesickness By Studying Abroad
No matter how well prepared you to travel to your new country, homesickness is a universal phenomenon that without a doubt everyone who’s relocated to a new country eventually experiences. This can happen within two months of your stay there or even after the first six months. And when you think you’ve managed these feelings and are getting better, you can start missing home even more than you did the previous time.
So remember how powerful words can be in regards to your well-being and understand that it’s okay to reach out whenever you’re feeling down. Keep an open mind and let yourself assimilate your new environment as it comes to you since the path of least resistance is always the most rewarding in the end. Practice gratitude every day and remember your reason for having chosen this experience in the first place. This is the only way you can create and consolidate a truly positive study environment.
4. Be Prepared for the Differences in the Financial System when studying abroad
When it comes to the financial and administrative tasks of relocation, everyone faces some hurdles in their process and most of the time they’re pretty exhausting. This is why it’s best to contact your bank before leaving the country in order to ensure you can use your card in the new country. You should also find out what fees there are when withdrawing from foreign ATM’s or when paying by card abroad. These small steps can save you from a whirlwind of negative emotions down the road and not mention, a lot of misspent cash.
5. You’ll Discover Yourself and the World
Perhaps this is the most rewarding aspect of them all when it comes to studying abroad. Each person going through this adventure will have different experiences, but one thing is certain. No one returns from studying abroad the same people they were when they began. This is because the entire experience propels you from your comfort zone straight into the unknown and that is the best foundation for self-development. You’ll learn how to live on your own, how to make connections with people that don’t even speak your language, how to get by in a foreign country and how to live without an immediately accessible emotional support system.
All in all, the beauty of studying abroad is that you can never really predict the unpredictable, regardless of how well you prepare for it. However, by following these basic tips, you may find yourself adjusting quicker to your environment and truly enjoying what this new chapter of your life has to offer.
About the Author
‘Claudia Spataru is a free spirit located in Bucharest, Romania and always in search of answers to life’s greatest questions. She loves to understand how people work, what makes them tick and find ways to help them reach higher grounds. She adores the sea, traveling and laughing.’