Studying abroad was the most amazing experience of my life. I met wonderful people, explored beautiful places, and made the memories that will last me forever. Though my time in Europe was pretty much a dream come true, I do feel that there were things I could have tweaked to make my time even better! For those of you who ever plan to study abroad, have already studied abroad, or would just be interested in knowing more about the study abroad experience, this blog would be right for you!
So here are some things I would recommend:
- Pack Light. This is something that so many people told me before I went on my semester trip, but did I listen to them? No I did not. I brought as much of my clothes that I possibly could, (winter clothes I might add) and it took up a lot of space. In the 4 months that I was there, I purchased souvenirs from 10 countries, and other things I liked here and there. Before I knew it, I was throwing things out and smashing everything in my luggage so tightly that my suitcase actually ripped! Point being– you will accumulate a lot of things in your travels. To avoid over packing, pick out what you want to bring, and reduce it by half.
- Bring clothes you like! This isn’t a necessary tip, per say, but I found that I got easily bored with the items I packed because I decided to bring the “practical” things I own. I ended up wishing that I had packed my clothes that I love to wear and feel good in too.
- TALK TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN!! I can’t stress this tip enough. Honestly the most important thing I can tell you. I say thing for many reasons. One example is that sometimes you need a new travel buddy, and traveling with new people is a great way to expand your horizons! Also, by talking to random people in your travels, you can really learn some amazing things about the world. Plus… If you can become friends with someone in a different country, you have a better chance at returning and having a free place to stay! So why not meet everyone you possibly can?
- I have actually had a lot of people ask me about my cell phone situation while I was over seas. I found that I did not need a cell plan because it costs money and is a hassle to deal with. All I did was use wifi and I was good to go! It saved me money and it allowed me to pay more attention to my surroundings rather than being on my phone. The downfalls are that if you get lost in the city, you can’t just pull up google maps, or if you get separated from your friends you can’t call/text them to find them unless you go inside! It’s an adjusting process, but I honestly feel it is unnecessary to purchase the international plan.
- If you are traveling in a group, I 100% recommend lodging through airbnb.com. Hostels are typically pretty cheap, but they are really better for solo travel if you ask me. Plus staying in an airbnb kind of makes your trip feel like you are part of the city you’re staying in! And they are usually a lot more comfortable than hostels too. There is so much more space. And it’s great if you want to save money and buy groceries.
- Contact your bank! Honestly the bank situation is ever annoying. I had to call my bank several times to tell them that I was traveling and I still had issues accessing my account! I just used my Visa Debit card while I was there, which to me is the easy way out.
If you have anymore questions definitely let me know! I also would love to hear from others that have studied abroad before to get input from a second perspective! Thank you so much for reading my blog today. I would appreciate any suggestions and advice from you guys to make my blogs as interesting and informative as I can!