Be a true explorer

4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Study Abroad Experience

This article was written and submitted by Melanie Foster

Are you or someone you know preparing to embark on a study abroad program? If it’s you personally, you have probably been thinking about all the great things you’re going to do during your time away. Odds are there are a million things on your to-do list, so it’s understandable that amidst the chaos you will forget a thing or to.

For this reason, I thought it would be important to note a few obvious things you might slip through the cracks. These are simple, yet worthwhile things international students thinks about doing, but can easily overlook when they get caught up in the swing of things.

Take Pictures

With smart phones and mobile devices this is much easier and less of a chore than in the past. You will likely always have a camera on you, just be sure to take advantage of it. I know I am notorious for missing “Kodak” moments because I simply don’t want to deal with it, but you may see things you’ll never see again in your life so snap away.

Not only will your friends and loved ones get a kick out of seeing everything you saw, they will also serve as a friendly warm reminder of your experience and all you learned while away.

Get People’s Contact InfoStudy Abroad Experience

Depending on where your program takes you, you will likely meet people from all corners of the world. You may form special bonds with these people, so be sure to get their contact information. Sure, many people are on Facebook these days, but that should not work for whatever reason, it’s nice to have other options.

It would be a shame for all of the bonds and friendships to be lost simply because you went back home and couldn’t get back in touch with them.

Try Things You Can’t Do Back Home

Now, I’m not encouraging any wild and crazy behavior, but use this as an opportunity to do stuff you might not have the opportunity to do back home. Climb to the top of a mountain, hand feed an exotic animal and try a local delicacy that might make your stomach turn. Basically live it up. You are only there for a limited time so don’t take any of the experiences for granted.

Journal About Your Experience

I know you’re going to be busy having the time of your life and learning all there is to learn, but try and keep a journal while you’re away. Document significant events and how you’re feeling. Make note of anything you want to remember or revisit. That’s probably the best part of journaling—in addition to getting a little insight into yourself you get to revisit the parts you like whenever you want.

How cool would that be to share it with your children or grandchildren some day?

Overall, while you’re away on your trip, just try to live in the moment and soak it all in. You’re doing something many people don’t get to do, so just be sure to make the most of it!

Author’s bio: Melanie Foster is a passionate supporter of global education and a writer for In her free time, Melanie enjoys hiking and reading. You can contact Melanie by adding a comment.

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