Here at Abroad101 we always love to give students some good advice on what to do while they’re studying abroad. Well, here’s a few tips on what not to do. Enjoy!
1. Getting Stuck in a Routine
Let’s be honest, routines are boring and no one likes them. You didn’t chose to study abroad to be stuck in the same agenda that you follow at home. This is your opportunity to make the most of your study abroad experience and challenge each day to be a little different, and a little bit more memorable. Break out of the waking up, class, class, class, home, dinner, bed routine and spice up your life a little bit! Find a different route to school one day, or a different way home. Find a new café or store along the way. Just imagine all the neat things you will see and experience if you decide to change up your routine a little bit each day. And, needless to say, you will become a master of all the cool little things your host city has to offer!
Souvenirs are great things. But, do you really need that Eiffel Tower snow globe? Or that leaning tower of Pisa pencil sharpener? Do you even use pencils anymore in our world of technology? The answer is probably no. Why not buy something that would be a bit more sentimental to your time abroad. Suggestions? What about a journal from France where you paste your favorite pictures? Other great things to buy include: traditional garments made by locals that represent their culture, any small, local handmade products that represent a specific trade of that country, such as glass or leather also make great souvenirs. But, if you really want that snow globe, by all means, be my guest!
3. Speaking English (Unless you’re in an English speaking country, of course)
Who wants to come home fluent!? If you answered yes to this question, which I bet many of you did, stop speaking English! Do babies learn how to talk with everyone speaking goo-goo ga-ga to them? Nope. Practice your language skills everyday! This is the only way you will truly become fluent. The best way to learn a language is practicing in everyday life with the locals, not just in class. They will appreciate you for trying and make an effort to help you out. Just be confident! And don’t forget to check out this article with tips to help you master any language.
4. Acting like a Tourist
It’s hard to blend in when you are studying abroad. Perhaps it’s your inability to speak the language or your Uggs and North Face jacket that make you stand out a tad from the locals. Whatever it may be, don’t let these things get in the way of trying your hardest to assimilate with the local culture. You will never grow, learn, and experience if you continue to act like you’re at home. Don’t be shy; be fearless! Need more advice?
We all know who I’m talking about. You can smell his cologne a mile away, see his greased up hair glistening in the moonlight, and his shirt looks like it lost a few too many buttons in the wash. Yup, this guy. He’s got those sweet-talkin’ lines that would normally make you gag, but the honeymoon essence of being in a new and exciting foreign city has got you blinded! So, lets take a quick trip back to reality, and use our brain, shall we? To follow the common moral of this blog: avoid these men! Most often they do not have good intentions and we would hate to see you end up in an unsafe, potentially harmful situation. Make sure to always walk home with a friend, in well-lit, well-known streets and don’t be afraid to be blunt and firm if approached by Mr. Rico Suave.
Now that you all know what to do, head over to Abroad101 and find your perfect program!