Even though I’m back to the normal, busy pace of international living I thought I would write a small post for those looking to study abroad.
1. You should challenge yourself. Above all things, you only get one chance to try this out, in this particular place, right now. So make the most of it. What’s the worst that could happen? Well you will never know if you don’t try anything. I watched a video the other day about someone searching for rejection and found it very interesting. The more comfortable you become with things that don’t work out the way you expect, the more you may reach out. Try new things!
2. Have good health. And/or be ready to deal with unexpected situations. Study abroad is stressful at times! You really don’t want to have an emergency on top of your already busy life because you can’t get medicine or care in the place you go to. Bring a good supply of things you need and take note if the country you go to has what you need or if it has a different name there.
3. Be Adaptable. Things will not always turn out the way you imagined. But it’s really not the end of the world! Depending on how you look at it your situation, it could be making you a better listener or more patient because of how you chose to deal with it. There’s going to be more things to experience than people can tell you about, so be open.
4. Learn to cook. Or at least have interest in food! In Japan not everything is expensive. I have found more than decent food often comes for really cheap prices compared to going for dinner in Canada. But with that said it can definitely be cheaper if you can make your own food, and sometimes more delicious! While on the subject of food however, the prices in Japan for vegetables and especially fruit is outrageous so get your fill before you leave home, just so you know. P.s. If you try the countries local foods your palate will open and you might find something delicious you didn’t know existed before!
5. Make connections. I love studying. I really do. It’s a good expenditure of time and you learn something new. But even though grades are important, making connections is more important. I mean meet people, do things, experience stuff! If you’re going to go all the way to a new country I hope it counts outside the classroom just as much as your studies.
I spent way too much time studying last semester. So my advice is not to throw the books away, but remember why you went to that country in the first place. Especially language study. It’s so important to go out and see how the language really works in that place.
I don’t know if this helps because everyone’s study abroad experience is so unique. But maybe if you read this you’ll have a little insight before you go abroad.