Congratulations, you got accepted to your dream study abroad program! You’re in for an opportunity of a lifetime. Though the idea, experiences, and places sound amazing, there’s still a lot to learn beforehand. Here at Faviana, we want you to be prepared and know the basics before traveling alone in a different country. And what better way to learn than from the experts themselves? After talking to a few college students who studied abroad, this is what advice they have for you before studying abroad.
Before Studying Abroad: Save Your Money
This is probably the most important advice the students had. When you’re abroad, you’re not going to want to have to miss out on trying amazing new foods or buying awesome souvenirs because you didn’t save up enough money. Start managing your money now, and learn how to travel on a budget if you are on one. Nick from Marist College suggests this great tip: “Set aside money each month before your trip so that you’ll be able to try exciting new things without having to second guess if you can afford it.”
Before Studying Abroad: Plan Ahead
Just like any vacation, you have to plan your trips ahead of time. Of course, you can plan spontaneous trips and visits while you are abroad. However, many special events and housing require a reservation well in advance. In addition, the closer those dates come, the steeper the flight and hotels prices will get by the day. Be proactive, do your research, and start to book the types of trip you need or want months ahead of time. For the best prices, check out the best websites for these. Try Ryanair for super cheap flights in Europe and HostelWorld for inexpensive hostels and hotels. Another go-to option is always an AirBnB!
Before Studying Abroad: Pack Light
We’re all guilty of over-packing for college, vacations, and little getaways. Nonetheless, it’s especially important to pack lighter than you typically would. When you’re studying abroad, the focus of your trip won’t be on what you wear, but it will be on the experiences and memories you take back. Mikayla from FIT says, “Wherever you go don’t buy clothes, unless very specific and unique. I don’t care how much you like shopping, spend money on experiences instead.” If you decide to buy other souvenirs and gifts while you’re abroad though, pack less clothes than what you would expect so you’ll be able to bring them back without having to worry about if you’ll have enough room in your bags or if your suitcase will be overweight.
Before Studying Abroad: Prepare for Homesickness
It’s inevitable when you’re in a different country for a few months, you’re going to miss your home where all your friends and family are. It’s important to realize this in the beginning though so you don’t let it take over your entire trip. Since being abroad will be a once in a lifetime opportunity, don’t let being homesick or worrying about what your friends are doing back home stop you from exploring and making the most of your trip. This is the perfect time to discover yourself and be independent, so take advantage of this opportunity. If you do feel yourself becoming homesick, try these different ways to beat it.
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