Making the Most of Abroad Experience

It is crazy how fast time goes by when studying abroad. Prior to coming, it felt like time was so slow and all the numerous questions about how this experience was going to be was constantly going around in my head. Then, I got here, adjusted, met a lot of cool people, and started to enjoy this experience. Here are some tips that I followed that helped make this experience successful and enjoyable:

  • Take advantage of activities going on at the University; I joined a club called ARC that hosts a lot of free events on campus and notifies me when there are other events going on.
  • Socialize whenever you can; if you are staying in a hostel for a bit, go around and talk to people. While being here I realized how easy it really is to just approach someone and then end up hanging out and doing things. Especially, when you first get abroad, most people are alone and probably looking to do the same things as you.
  • Attend events within the area to get a feel of the country; I have alerts set up, so I am aware of different festivals and activities going on in the area. I have been able to attend numerous food festivals and it is one of the ways I have been able to try so many culturally diverse cuisines.
  • Step out of your comfort zone, do things you would never want or be able to do back at home; for instance, I have always been super shy at home, but since I’ve been here I try to approach and just make jokes with strangers and some of them have ended up becoming my good friends here.
  • Learn about the country you are staying in; I chose to take 2 courses to give me the opportunity to learn about Australia through field trips and lectures, which has helped me understand and appreciate where I am living.
  • If you have nothing going on, try not to just trap yourself in a room, go outside and just wander around; I got a library card to be able to take out books and sometimes when I have nothing to do, instead of locking myself in my room watching Netflix, I go outside and read and just appreciate the beautiful weather here.
  • Appreciate each day by just looking around and try to avoid stressing over the little things
  • Plan accordingly; if you want to travel, try to come up with a bucket list of things and book tours or trips ahead of time because things are cheaper that way.
  • Do not rely on people you meet for plans, try to be independent and do what you want to do; not all of my friends class schedules align, so sometimes I just take solo trips around the city or in surroundings areas.
  • Travel outside the region you may be in
  • Stay ahead of schedule on school assignments; this is one of the most important tips because at the end of the day we are all here to receive credit for our courses, so if we want to travel and do things not related to school, it is important to get the school work done first.

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