5 Things You Need to Know Studying Abroad

Moving away from home can be tough. You are in a new place and a new country filled with customs unknown to you. This may be a time for you to reflect on your new home abroad for the next few months, years, or decades.  While living abroad, either studying or living there permanently, here are five things you need to know.

Reflect in the Now

Remove yourself from your phone and immerse yourself. You are in a different country that has a different culture than your own. Take the time to enjoy the moment and listen to your surroundings. This helps you understand where you are and stay connected with local life. One of my favorite trips was to a small town in Provence, France called La Fontaine Du Vaucluse.

“It was a beautiful river town with welcoming locals and heavily sounds of pure water. I visited many times while staying in Provence.” — Sterling

Try New Things

One of the things that would encourage you to do is try something new. You did not travel all the way out here just to go to McDonald’s for food. You are here for the experience. Try some local restaurants, look at their specials, and be brave!

Take a chance on doing things you haven’t done before. For example, go take a hike through a forest or go biking through the city. While you are here, start creating new habits to bring back when you return. You may want to wake up early to explore or start reading a new book in the local language for 15 minutes a day.

Take in Your Environment

You are in a completely different culture than your own. There may be some culture shock but, this is the time to educate yourself. Start by learning the language. Download Memrise or Duolingo and practice. Try to put yourself through the challenge of communicating with the locals.

Do not expect people to know your first language while visiting. Interacting with the locals also shows you amazing gems like the festivals, markets, and art galleries. Being outside of the tourist destinations shows you the true beauty of the environment.

Learn the History of the Region

You are here! Enjoy it and learn about the area. You may find that learning the history of a place allows you to appreciate it more than a superficial level. We recommend finding a nice bookstore to buy a book in the country’s language.  Finding out the stories of the places can bring you more joy and memories to reflect on.


Inspiration is Everywhere

We recommend taking tours and finding small pieces to take home with you. One place you can put these pieces is in a journal that you can later visit while you are back home. From saving papers from museums to your favorite coffee shop, it is an inspiration to remember. Memories cannot be replicated. As much as we love living in the moment, take a disposable camera with you to capture them.

I have saved papers from museums, coffee shops, and galleries in my sketchbook. I have pictures of buildings and artwork that I referenced later in my work. In France, I took in as much inspiration as I could because the memories cannot be replicated. I had a disposable camera with me that I took photos of things I love at that moment.

Living abroad can show you new lessons like it’s okay to slow down and live in the moment. In the United States, we have a culture that encouraging non-stop working. Take advantage of being outside of your comfort zone in a new place. Get active and enjoy your moments.


Originally posted on The Beauté Study.com