Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?
It’s time to study abroad. And fortunately, #UHBauer has a ton of opportunities for both graduate & undergraduate students to experience learning in another country. (Check out our website … many programs are enrolling now.)
Once you decide where you want to travel, you’ll obviously need to prep. Don’t get overwhelmed in an endless international to do list. Instead, check out our tips below to make the most of your time abroad.
Create an Adventure List.
It might feel like vacation, but you’ll still be responsible for keeping up with the “study” part of your study abroad trip. Even so, one of the best parts of study abroad is immersing yourself in another culture while living and learning like a local. Make the most of your time by creating a checklist of must-do activities before you leave, and plan day or weekend trips around each one. You can always add spontaneous adventures with new friends, but having a list of ideas gives you a good place to start.
Prep Your Phone.
Your smartphone can be just as much of a lifesaver overseas as it is here. Before you head abroad, make sure your phone is on an international plan and won’t charge you extra fees every time you make a call. You should also download helpful apps to use throughout your stay, such as language translation apps, apps that provide travel tips and unit conversion apps.
…But Learn to Live Without It.
Yeah, yeah. We just told you that your phone is pretty much essential for your study abroad trip. And in today’s technological era, it really is. But, the best parts of your adventure abroad should be lived away from a screen. Commit to staying off social media whenever you’re exploring outside, and don’t use your phone unless you absolutely must. Focusing on the environment and people around you will let you soak in as much of the culture as possible.
Develop a Routine.
The first few days of your study abroad trip might have you feeling like a tourist, but in reality, the country you’re living in will become your home for a few weeks or months, and you’ll need to learn how to adapt your daily lifestyle. Stick to a consistent schedule that includes every area of your life (like studying, working out and hanging with friends) to make sure you don’t become overwhelmed and stuck in vacay mode.
Living in a foreign country where you won’t have access to all your favorite stores can be scary, but overpacking will make your travels more difficult in the long run. Be intentional with what you decide to bring, sticking to the essentials and foregoing things you’ll be able to buy overseas. Research the area you’ll be visiting to find out where you can purchase any extra items you might need.
Adapt to Your Environment.
Learning to blend in with the locals during a study abroad trip can help make your stay both comfortable and safe. Before you leave, do research to find out what customs and behaviors are appropriate where you’re staying, how to translate important phrases and where to get help in case of an emergency.
Keep a Travel Journal or Blog.
Even if you don’t journal or blog at home, keeping a written record of your memories while abroad will help you look back on them in the future. Your entries can be as simple as writing down what you did that day and including photos of your adventures. If you’re planning on keeping a physical journal, consider going old school with a disposable or Polaroid camera to include photos as well as ticket stubs, postcards and souvenirs.