10 ways to prepare for Study Abroad
How do you mentally prepare yourself for a Study Abroad? Here are 10 tips on what to do before leaving your home! You can use these tips to help yourself get ready for the best time of your life!
To leave your home for a long duration may seem unrealistic or just weird and strange! Maybe it’s something you haven’t done before and therefore don’t know how to prepare your next chapter in life.
- Start saving money!
Traveling isn’t cheap! You don’t wanna be in a state where you can’t do whatever you want when abroad! And if you are in Asia, you definitely want to take advantage of being so near of so many asian countries and all the cheap flight tickets! Asia is cheaper than if you are going to Europe, so you may get more for the money! Do a budget of what expenses you have each month (transportation, food, room-rent etc.) and then you will find out how much you have left for the month for fun! Save as much money as you can before you leave so you can make the most of your time abroad!
- Research your new city/country you’ll live in
Where are you going to live? What kind of city is it? You should do some research on the area and see what’s around it. Maybe you won’t have any public transportation or maybe you live just across the best food markets, find out what festivals there will be while you are in the city: Food festival, Moon Cake Festival or maybe some religious festivals? Knowing just a bit about your area will help you feel more comfortable when you get there.
- Research the culture/customs of your new city/country
You have to know what kind of culture, people, religion etc. you are going to live in! Nothing is scarier than arriving in a new country and knowing nothing about it. Maybe your host country dresses modestly. The people may greet each other in a certain way? Do they have siestas? What’s the nightlife like (maybe you shouldn’t go outside your door after sunset?)? These are among many important things to know before you leave for your time abroad. The best idea would be to ask previous students in the city, of their stay! Knowing this will not only help you blend in, it will also help you feel more comfortable upon arrival and make the transition much easier!
- Learn some words of their language
This is not a must, but it would be great to know how the language is at your host country. But you can not assume that everyone speaks English. This goes for countries you plan on visiting as well. No one expects you to learn a whole new language, but a few phrases will do you good than not knowing anything and it will even help you feel more confident when you arrive. The natives will even treat you more politely because of it, so download apps like Duolingo or Google Translate.
- Packing list! So important! Bring a piece of home with you <3
Overpacking is something everyone is good at! Especially if you think of being away from home for a really long time!
We all want to be prepared for every possible situation while abroad. When packing to study abroad, make a packing list and DO NOT BRING IT ALL! Be realistic and tell yourself that you don’t need all the things you wrote down! For only one semester abroad you don’t need more than one suitcase! Pack items that are wrinkle free! Bring clothes that you can match in more than one outfit-style and on different occasions. Be flexible and compromise. Once you arrive, you will probably buy new stuff – just remember that it is possible, you’re not going to a shop-free-city (or are you?)
You never know if you’ll get homesick or not. Just in case you should bring something that reminds you of home to decorate your new room. If you get homesick, a piece from home may help those moments. It will remind you to be grateful of the opportunity to study abroad and that will be home soon! 🙂 Photographs is a great thing to bring with you and it is a lightweight option!
Read: 3 important question to ask yourself before packing for a semester abroad
- Prepare the things that you need from your country, that you can’t get in your new home
This can be everything from A to Z. The things that you use on a daily basis or things that you use when ever necessary e.g medicine.
Weather you’re in a country for only a semester or more, it will be a good idea to get prescriptions filled so you’ll bring what you need – worst case scenario. Some products you use regularly might not be available in your host country e.g. your shampoo, toothpaste or something much more important. Do some research (ask previous students at the host city from your university back home).
- Do a personal journal or start a blog!
No matter where you are going, you’ll do soooo many things while abroad! You will create so many memories. Every day is a new adventure weather you will exploring a new city or traveling to a country, or just creating memories with your new buddies. No matter what, you never want to forget this chapter of your life! I’m sure that you are looking forward to tell your friends and family at home about your experiences, but trust me: you won’t be able to remember each day or each highlight of your 4-6 months stay! Besides your photos a journal will be appreciated, if not by others, then by you! You can create a facebook page for your friend and family, a blog or even a personal blog.
One thing is for sure: you won’t regret it!
- Make a list of things to do and trips to take in your new home-city and other nearby cities/countries
What does the city offer? Do some research and get to know the city, and then you should make a list of things and trips that you should do/take! I made a list before I went abroad and I will be doing one a few weeks before I go. Trips, sightseeing, restaurants, cafees, mosques etc. Before you know it, your time at the city will be over! Study abroad goes by really fast. Make sure to make the most of your time. Nothing is worse than studying in a city for months without doing everything the city offers.
You can never plan your entire stay before you departure. Your trip plans will change. If you want to travel other cities or countries, you should make a list of places you want to go and make it your goal!
- Make a to-do-list-before-leaving
You will have so many things on your mind weeks before leaving. To make it easier for you and to avoid forgetting anything, you should make a to-do-list before you leave! Maybe some of the things are important for your stay or maybe its just some less important things like: having the last rye bread before leaving Denmark 🙂
One thing is for sure, you’ll miss your favorite foods while abroad. Nothing is like your mom’s home cooking or nothing is like the danish diary products. If you have some favorite meals, then you should definitely have them in the weeks leading to your departure – either at your faverotie restaurants or at home. Something you probably won’t get to eat in your host country.
- GET EXCITED
Last but not least, GET EXCITED! Cause studying abroad will be the best time of your life! You can’t even imagine how many things you’ll explore and learn. You will learn a lot, explore a lot, and have the best time of your life. When you’ve finished preparing, take time to enjoy your last few days at home. Do not think about your semester abroad too much. Before you know it, you’ll be living in a different country, seeing another part of the world, and having the time of your life. How can one not be excited?