STUDYING abroad is about more than furthering your knowledge in a foreign country: it’s an experience that is going to shape your life forever and despite whatever you end up doing career-wise in your future, you will always remember this stage in your life.
Each personal case is different, in the same way each person looks for different things when studying abroad, but the most important thing is that students get the very best of this life-changing experience. Therefore, our Study Abroad Bucket List has a selection of key aspects to develop whilst living in a different country:
1. Learn as much as you can
The opportunity of studying abroad is a privilege that only a few can afford, hence the importance of embracing it. That means becoming the best student possible: go to classes and participate in them, do the assignments, and give everything you have to in order to be the best you can academic-wise.
2. Get involved in several activities within the University
You chose a university because you consider it the most suitable option for you, so take advantage of that. Many institutions have a list of activities in which students can get involved in, such as debate clubs, academic writing and language lessons as well. Take the opportunity to join any sports team or participate in competition activities like gymkhanas and many others. The point is that you should do a little bit of research and find the ones that you enjoy.
3. Mingle with people from different backgrounds and cultures
One mistake many students make whilst studying abroad is that they look for their fellow nationals to create a circle of friends. Although it’s understandable that they want to keep in touch with their roots, by doing this, they are limiting the possibility to expand their group of friends and make it more international. Remember: you can learn a lot in life by being friends with people very different from you!
4. Get to know the city you are studying in
Where you are studying is going to become your home for the length of your course, so you better embrace it and become an exceptional citizen. Use the public transport, know your surroundings, be aware of the issues happening and play your part in society.
5. Do what you did not do back home
This is the time to let go of old things and attitudes to make room for the blessings to come. This is the time to experiment (wisely, of course) and decide for yourself what you like and don’t like.
6. Empower yourself
Studying abroad can generate a whole range of conflicting emotions: the excitement of a new experience, the anxiety of academic endeavours or sadness for being apart from your friends and family. It’s difficult, no doubt about it. However, one way to look at it is that you are expanding your comfort zone. You may not have your loved ones to look after you, but now you have yourself, which is better because you will develop your inner strength and become more powerful.
7. Try to land an internship
The core of studying abroad is, obviously, the part of studying. The theory and practice during the course is very important, but the best way to complement these two is by using them in the professional world. This will definitely give you an advantage when searching for a job after your studies.
8. Do networking
No one knows the future, but it is important to prepare yourself for all the options. Maybe someone you met during your studies is looking for a person like you in his organisation: by networking, you can have several career opportunities.
9. Have a must-visit places book
This experience can’t be all studies; you have to go out and experience the world. Don’t let aspects such as time and money hold you back. In every city, there are interesting places to go that will impact on you and generate a good time.
10. Say yes to everything (good for you of course)
From a school trip or activity, to a party or a date, say yes – the worst that can happen is that you add more experience to your life!
11. Learn the language
Being bilingual not only opens a lot more of opportunities, but allows you to communicate better and make new friends.
12. Look after yourself
Back at home, you have your parents helping you when in need. Whilst studying abroad, despite the distance, you continue to count on them, but this is the time to become an adult by doing what’s best for you and choosing the right things.
13. Be an ambassador of your homeland
People get the impression of a place by the behaviour of their people, so you’d better be a role model, encourage your new friends to visit your homeland and speak wonders of it!
For more advice on how to make the best of university, check out the our Student Life Hacks: How to Kick-Start Your Career Between Classes.
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