Najifa Hussain, ’25, is a Management Information Systems major studying at the American University of Rome this Fall 2022.
It has officially been about two months since I have started my study abroad journey and I feel as if I have a good amount of knowledge to spread on this topic. In my previous blog post, I had talked about the culture shocks I had experienced upon coming to Rome and now this post is to expand upon it as I learn to adapt to this new environment and learn to travel independently. My number one tip that I wish I had known before studying abroad is that you will be spending money everyday, so learning how to budget beforehand is a must. For me, it has been easier setting aside money for my bigger trips while setting a set limit for my daily spending. There is always going to be unexpected expenses that may come upon you and overall just making sure to stay on top of your finances while still making the best of your time abroad is something I wish I had really prepared for before studying abroad.
Another thing I wish I had known before studying abroad is that being resourceful person will help you out greatly. While studying abroad, I had the opportunity to visit various cities and countries and each place I visit always differs in some way whether it is the language, way of transport, or currency it is always a good idea to research such facts beforehand so your not completely lost once reaching a new city, especially if you are traveling independently. For me, it was easiest to find out what was the best taxi app to use in each city and calculating how far my hotel or airbnb would be from the airport or train station and if using the metro or taxi would be the most affordable/safest options in these places. This was especially important for me when studying in Rome since there are so many cities throughout Italy to visit but aren’t always going to be the same as Rome.
‘My last greatest thing that I wish I had known before studying abroad is that you will meet people and you will make new friends and memories that will last you for a lifetime. I, myself, was extremely anxious about my first study abroad experience since I didn’t necessarily know anyone who would be doing this with me. But having the ability to step out of your comfort zone and learn to adapt and be responsible as you embark on this new journey with others who are in the same boat as you helps you to bond and make connections. I believe that’s one of the best parts about taking on such an opportunity like this and although it may be tough at times its a learning experience that you will never forget.