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How to make the most of your stay abroad
You are planning on studying abroad and want to know how to make the most of your stay abroad? When you have the chance to go abroad, you should consider it a chance of a lifetime! The adventure that lies ahead of you is an experience that you will never forget. The reason why people enjoy their stay abroad so much and whish it would never end is because it does just that: It ends before you know it, so you should make the most of it while you are abroad.
Many study abroad programs promise you cultural immersion – in a group of 25 fellow countrymen and -women. When you choose your study abroad program, make sure that you will get what you want. Often times, a self-organized study abroad trip will be well worth the effort and can in this respect not compete with most study abroad programs.
People study abroad for different reasons and its everybody’s choice to which degree they want to immerse themselves into the foreign culture.
Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your stay abroad:
1. Learn the language
When you go abroad to a country where a different language than your mother tongue is spoken, learn the language so you can at least have a basic conversation with locals. You will be surprised how fast you will pick up more words once you speak the foreign language on a daily basis. The best thing about it: You don’t have to sit down and hammer those words into your brain, you’ ll just pick them up on the way! And another advantage: You will learn much more about the culture and get a better understanding of the culture and people of the country that you are living in. Oh yes, did I forget to mention the benefits you will have on the job market, when you speak a foreign language fluently? Want to know how to learn a foreign language fast and easy? Read my post on how to learn a language in just weeks!
2. Try the local cuisine
Some people are picky about their food, I know. But in many cultures, food is an essential part of what defines their everyday life. Go with the local customs and don’t be afraid of strange food. Try to eat what the locals eat, where they eat it. When I was in China, I always had the best food in the restaurants, where I was the only foreigner. Go crazy and try scorpions in China or Guinea pigs in South America!
3. Be sure to connect with locals
Stay away from your fellow countrymen and -women! I know this is easier said than done. In an new, strange and foreign environment, people tend to clock to to things they know. This means, foreigners will stay in groups with people that are from their home country. It makes them feel safer and everyday life easier to accomplish. This is a natural behavior and you will most likely not be able to avoid this completely. But remember, that you actually went abroad to get away from the things you know and experience new things. In addition to that, mixing up with locals will also improve your language skills. I am sure you will agree that you can learn the most about the culture from locals, not from the people, who came from the same country as you are.
Remember, your time abroad should be an unforgettable experience. Learn how to make the most of your stay abroad and these memories will last you a lifetime! Take full advantage of you study abroad experience!!!
How to make the most of your stay abroad – Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_mobility#/media/File:15%25_of_Westminster_student_body_is_international_students,_representing_71_different_countries.jpg