Prepare for a Semester Abroad

As a college student myself, I am very familiar with life on campus and what goes through the minds of college students. Now if you’re a current college student or going to be starting college soon I’m sure the discussion of studying abroad has come up. There are many things a person must do to prepare to study abroad. Here’s a list of some of the things you must remember when studying abroad:

1) Be Aware of the Country- By this I mean, be aware of what is currently going on in this country. Be sure to check their news and see if there is any type of war, or ongoing struggle in the country, and be careful not to offend anyone as it could cause a huge global controversy. Also be aware of any disease that may be in this country, and be sure to get the proper vaccinations for them before traveling, and avoid bringing any disease back to the United States or your home country.

2) Look into Culture and Values- Different countries often value different things and have different ways of life. Some countries see certain things as sacred, that other countries simply don’t, so be sure not to offend anyone in this manner, or cause any disrespectful remarks or actions while visiting the country.

3) Be Aware of Manners- People behave differently all over the world, and there is no one way to act that’s consistent through every country. If you’re going to be studying abroad, make sure you study what traditions and cultural acts are significant where you are visiting, so you know how to act in certain situations. An example of this would be in Japan that a bow is a sign of respect, and the lower you bow the more respect you have for the person. There may be a situation where something is expected of you, such as a bow, and if it doesn’t happen that person may become offensive and become quite confrontational.

4) Bring Necessities- Don’t forget things that you need on a everyday basis. Be sure to remember toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and everything else you need on a regular basis here in the United States.

5) Be familiar with the language- Of course if you’re traveling to a country that speaks a different language, try to be as familiar as possible with this language, as there may be situations where you encounter someone who doesn’t speak your native language. It would be very difficult to try to get somewhere or communicate with someone, if you can’t understand what they are trying to tell you.

6) Be prepared for different types of weather- Since you’ll be traveling to someplace unfamiliar, you really don’t know what types of weather you’ll be encountering. Be sure to pack all types of clothing for both warm and cold weather, and antic pt rain or other forms of weather. Remember, you are unfamiliar with the weather patterns in this area, so what might seem weird to you weather wise, may be normal where you are.

7) Be prepared financially- You must be aware of the currency trade, and how to value your money in a foreign country in order to avoid being ripped off. Be aware of the value of things in their currency and in your own so that you can make smart spending decisions.

As you can see there is a lot to think about when deciding to study abroad. Despite all the potential troubles, people who have studied abroad say it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can do, so for that reason I would highly recommend it for current college students, and for soon to be college students.