Study Abroad 101

This past semester, I took a break from Purdue and flew 8,500 miles to study abroad in New Zealand. Studying abroad for an entire semester was a decision I battled with for awhile, but it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made! Now I am a firm believer that everyone should study abroad. Whether it’s for a week, a month, or an entire semester, the memories you’ll make and the information you’ll learn will be something to treasure for the rest of your life. Here are some tips that I learned along the way.

1. Expand your horizon when looking at places to visit.

I originally set my sights on Europe and only looked at universities there. At my first study abroad advising appointment, the advisor misheard me when I said I was considering Austria. She thought I said Australia and proceeded to tell me how great that country and New Zealand were. By the end, I was convinced and expanded my search. That mishap allowed me to find the perfect university and country for me.thumbnail_2019-10-18 12.02.54 1.jpg

2. Act like a freshman.

Go to all of the orientation events, random fairs, new clubs, and whatever else you can find going on on campus. This is a quick and easy way to make friends and get acquainted with where you are going to live. Plus you could end up with free food/stuff and who doesn’t love that?

3. Apply for any and every scholarship and then make a budget.

There are so many scholarships available for kids who are going abroad. However if you don’t apply, you will never have a shot at the free money. Once you have funds lined up, make a budget and then stick to it. This way you don’t accidentally burn through your money too quick and you can enjoy new experiences throughout your entire trip!

4. Try something new every day.

This was one of my favorite tips I got when I left! It can be easy to accidentally slip in to a monotonous routine of day to day life. Going out of your way to try something new every single day can be an easy way to avoid that. This can be something as big as travelling to see a new sight or something as small as trying a new food you found at the store.thumbnail_2019-09-04 08.15.44 1

5. Travel whenever and wherever you can.

You are studying abroad in an entirely new country, and who knows when you will be able to go back! Make sure you see as much of it as possible. I did this with my friends through small trips on the weekend and longer road trips during study breaks. You can also add on extra travel time before or after your semester!

These are just a few quick tips, but there are many more suggestions out there. Be sure to research and reach out to people who went to regions you are interested in. Firsthand knowledge is a great way to learn about the true experience a country offers!thumbnail_2019-08-30 08.20.00 1


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