Choosing to fly to a foreign land on another side of the country and live according to a completely different culture can be a scary move. It may take some time to adjust to life in a new country surrounded by new people, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful.
So many students choose to participate in a study abroad program because of the enjoyable experience that comes with taking chances and getting out of your comfort zone. We have put together five practical tips to help make your transition a little easier.
1. Start Planning Early
When determining how much money you will need when traveling to a new country, you’ve probably already considered the cost of transportation and living expenses, but what about your cell phone service, prescriptions, or bank charges?
Other things will also add up and taking the time to plan ahead for these expenses will help you in the long run. Some things may be cheaper in your home country, so do your research in advance and you could be saving yourself money and stress.
Also, check with your bank before you leave to be sure your bank charges won’t increase by using your card in another country.
Using your cell phone service in another country could rack up a pretty penny, switch to a local SIM when you arrive in the country or you can look into purchasing a prepaid phone service during your study abroad trip.
2. Manage Your Budget
Studying abroad is expensive, so it’s no surprise that many students stress over money when choosing to participate in a program.
However, this does not mean that you have to take out your entire savings or get yourself into debt in order to experience studying abroad.
Simply managing a budget and saving your money can help you make the experience of a lifetime.
- When you arrive in the U.S., don’t try to buy everything you see. We understand that this may be difficult when seeing all the interesting souvenirs the country has to offer, but try and save that for the end of your visit.
- One great way to save money while living in a new country is to live like the locals do. Ask locals where they like to eat or ask them for some tips on cooking local food. Ask them what they enjoy to do for fun. You will make a lot of new friends this way, while also diving into the culture.
3. Enjoy the Experience with New People
Being in a foreign place will be an experience that may take time to get used to, but try not to hide away in your room the whole time. Make new friends, talk to new people, and not just other international students.
To help meet new people, you can join a student association that attracts your interest, involve yourself in on-campus activities, mingle with locals around town.
Many students stress about their creating exciting memories on their study abroad trips that they never actually get to experience anything. Make sure to relax and have fun.
4. Become a Transport Expert
You may be drawn to the idea of simply paying for an Uber or a cab to travel around your new temporary home, but taking the train or local bus system can actually save you a lot more money and time.
If you live in a town with everything in close quarters, you can even start walking to your destinations. Depending on your location and surroundings, walking can be a quick and enjoyable way of transportation.
This will also give you the opportunity to indulge in the scenery and get some good exercise. However, if walking isn’t your thing, look into leasing a car as a student during your visit. There are many places that offer great deals, and possibly even student discounts.
5. Enjoy a health diet on a friendly budget
Earlier, we mentioned to live like the locals and eat like the locals, but making healthy eating decisions can also be helpful. Fast food and college foods may seem to be the easy choices, but consistently indulging in these food choices can be damaging to your health.
Before you head out, learn some basic, healthy meals that you can make from your home. There are many cheap and easy dishes that you can make, like soup, stew, and casserole.
These dishes don’t require a lot of equipment to make. Simple foods, like chicken, can be prepared in many different ways with a few simple ingredients and can last someone for at least a week.
If you are not the best cook, you can look in some cooking courses that your campus or local community centers may offer.
Choosing to study abroad is a beneficial and exciting experience. Obtaining your education while getting the opportunity to indulge in a new culture is an opportunity that everyone should take the chance to enjoy! Moving a long distance can be stressful, but following these tips will make a big difference.