Tips to Make the Best of Studying Abroad
Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting things that you could experience if you know how to make the best out of it. The number of people applying for scholarships and the likes to study abroad has been on the increase. Having an opportunity to get selected to go over to institutions in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and some other countries to study, probably under better conditions, can be quite enviable and anyone with that privilege should maximise the period for study and other beautiful experiences as much as possible. The following can help you maximise your study in a foreign land whether you are already there or planning to travel out soon.
Research Before You Leave
Having a good idea of the place you are going for your study ahead of your arrival there will let you in on what and what not to expect when you get there. While you may not get the full details of everything you need to know from your survey and research while still at your home country or country of residence presently, the information you obtain from people, news, and articles about the country and school can give you a good idea of basic things. Be well informed about the health insurance, accommodation protocol, budget planning and the likes.
Have a List
Ensure you have a list of things you want to do while you are abroad studying, places you want to go, adventures you want to make, things you want to achieve. Having a list of things you want to do will help you keep in view your goals and the experiences you don’t want to miss while you are there. As you continue to achieve things on the list, you can keep striking them off.
Have a Plan for Your Education?
While you are there studying, let your plan be set as to what your next move is going to be as regards your study. Do you want to shift to a new course? Do you want to pursue a higher degree? Ensure you are not just there till the study period is over without having any solid plan whatsoever. Having these plan on ground can even help you to begin to work towards their possibility before your time is over. Plan ahead.
Speak with Your Advisor
Being a new student in another country and a new school, with little or no knowledge about what their policies are and other important things to know, you will need some guidance from people who you meet there. Try to know your advisor and talk with him/her, communicate through available means and when possible meet them face to face to ask questions and get more insight into what is expected of you, what you may be able to benefit from, what you should avoid, how you should go about things. This will help you to avoid possible mistakes and maximise opportunities if they are available.
Have a Diary/Journal
Eventually when you are done with your study and you return to your home country, friends, family, people back at home will likely want to hear your stories about your experience while there. Keeping a good journal of events, places you visited, people you met, experiences you had will serve to help you tell your story better, and also help you record those memories so they don’t slip from your memory.
Be at the Orientation
Endeavour to attend the orientation program of your school. This is even more important for you since you are there from another country. If room is given for questions and answers, you can take the opportunity to ask for clarifications on matters you want to understand.
Get Clues from The Locals
Being in an unfamiliar environment, you should be smart to get clues from the community people who are citizens of the place. When you are not sure what to do in a particular situation, look around and see if you can get a clue from the people around. And if you have an easy way of communicating with them, you could just ask questions so as to act correctly.
Learn a New Language
The time you have to study abroad can be a good time to learn a new language, and it may be easier to get a new found friend or neighbour to teach you free of charge. Take the opportunity to increase the number of languages you know, and it will even serve to help you to communicate more easily with the locals.
Be open to making new friends during your stay. Make new friends both on the campus and in the community. You never can tell how far the friendships you make can go to make your stay there exciting and enjoyable. It could even make more sense that in case anything happens to you, you have some people to look out for you.
If Possible and Allowed, Get a Part Time Job
If the conditions of your visa allow for you to get a part-time job, then why not take the opportunity? This will help to cushion the effect of financial demands and help you to live better. It could serve to enable you send some money to people at home and even save.
Go for Internships
Try to take as many internships as feasible and possible. This will help you to get good experience and might help you stand a better chance of getting a job.
Take Pictures and Do Videos
Try as much as possible to save memories in vivid ways as much as possible. It goes without saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, take as many pictures as possible. When you visit places, or meet new people, take pictures. Also make videos when you can, this will make the memory to be kept in a more vivid way.
Don’t Spend Excessively
As you are new to the environment and you likely don’t know all the demands that could show up in the future, it is save to spend carefully and make room for anything that might come up.
As much as you are there to study, you could also take the advantage to visit places, cities and the likes. Be open to good adventure. But ensure that your travels don’t get too much that you miss out on experiencing and appreciating your immediate environment. Keep in mind also, your primary reason for being there – to study.
Learn a New Culture
Studying abroad is an opportunity for you to learn a new culture. Be open minded, don’t be like- ‘but this is the way we do it in my country’. Set your mind to adapt to their lifestyle and culture while you are there, try to experience their way of life. Eat their foods, and learn as many things as you can while you are there. Try to also understand the people better.
Take a Walk Daily
If possible, take a daily stroll at periods when you are less busy, to see and appreciate the city and community you live.
Studying abroad should be a very exciting experience, while you work hard and smart at hitting your academic goals, don’t dull the moments, take time to experience where you are!