Everyone’s advice before studying abroad is always, “Make the most of it, because it all goes by too quickly.” But how exactly do you do that, and what are the easiest ways to make your experience more meaningful? After three semesters abroad, here are my top tips on making the most of this special experience.
Travel If you’re in Europe, budget airlines, trains, and bus systems will take you around the continent for a discounted rate. See as much of the world as you can, chances are, you’ll only have this opportunity a handful of times.
Spend time in your host country That said, it can be easy to spend every weekend in a new city when you’re abroad. Focus your energy on the country you chose to study in. Getting to know the culture, people, and environment of your chosen study abroad location is an experience you’ll always treasure.
Eat local Skip McDonald’s! One of my personal guidelines for being abroad is to never spend money on a meal that you could get at home. If you’re on a budget, try some street food in your new country. Between haggis in Scotland, and stroopwaffels in Amsterdam, the local street cuisine is always exciting and top-notch.
Put down the phone Yes, it’s tempting to Instagram every meal or major tourist attraction, but life is only measured in moments. Looking back, you’ll be glad you seized every opportunity for new adventures instead of worrying about the amount of likes on a photo. Be sure to be living for yourself and not your social media followers. Be wholly present in your new surroundings.
Engage with locals It’s tempting to stay comfortable within your group that you studied abroad with, and only travel and socialize with a familiar cohort. In order to maximize your study abroad experience, it’s crucial to get to know the local people and customs. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.