Studying abroad can be a truly life-changing experience. However, like most life-changing experiences, there are ways to get the most out of it, and there are ways to make it more difficult and troublesome.
Thankfully, we’ve collected a few of the most important tips out there to help you get the most out of your study abroad and avoid some common pitfalls. Here are 6 common mistakes.
1. NOT MEETING NEW PEOPLE
When you’re getting ready to go abroad, it’s easy to get carried away thinking of the new people and friends you’re going to make, but unfortunately it’s not always that easy. A lot of study abroad programs group international students together, so it can be hard to branch out. Keeping to yourself and your group of friends can hinder your experience, so be sure to make an effort to socialize with the locals as well. This may mean stepping outside your comfort zone and introducing yourself to new people. But don’t worry, the new friendships you will make will be worth it!
2. NOT BUDGETING YOUR MONEY
Studying abroad can be expensive, but there are always ways to save. Budgeting your money before you even get to your destination is the first step to avoiding spending too much. Start off on the right foot by creating a budget for yourself. Set aside a certain amount per week for groceries, travel expenses and fun things. Starting from the beginning will allow you to disperse your budget, making sure that you don’t run out halfway through the semester.
3. NOT TRAVELLING ENOUGH
Make sure you take advantage of the opportunities that studying abroad affords you. If you’re in a European country, consider doing some travel to London or Paris – cities that aren’t too far away. If you don’t take advantage of the cheap and easy travel, you might end up regretting it when you return home. If money is an issue, plan early and take advantage of budget airlines, buses and trains. Stay in hostels instead of checking yourself into a hotel. There are tons of ways to cut down on travel expenses, so don’t let the big numbers get you down.
4. NOT IMMERSING YOURSELF IN THE CULTURE
Not immersing yourself in the culture of your study abroad country is another pitfall to avoid. It’s easy to slip into habits from home and end up locking yourself in your room with snacks watching your favourite local tv. show. You only have a small amount of time in this country, so do your best to take advantage of what it has to offer. Immerse yourself in your new country’s culture by checking out local events, eating the signature foods and trying your hand at speaking the language.
5. NOT EXPLORING YOUR HOST CITY
In addition to traveling, it’s also a good idea to get to know your new home city. It’s not every day that you’ll be able to pick up your life and move yourself to a new city, so make sure to explore your temporary home while you can. Semesters abroad are notoriously for giving you serious down time, so take advantage of your free time between study and travels to get to know your new town. Take walks, look up hidden gems and explore the nooks and crannies.
6. NOT CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLLEGE
It is important to select a college who is reputable and will provide you with a fulfilling and professional learning experience. Remember to do your research! Talk to others, talk to an agent (if that applies to you), read reviews online, ensure they have the right accreditations, see if they have won awards and most importantly – do not ever feel pressured. Your college needs to be the right one for you. Enquire with us today to discuss your study in Melbourne!