Studying abroad can be a unique experience that you will never forget. Therefore, today I present 25 tips that will help you make the most of this incredible experience. Thanks to my personal experience in a university in the United States I have lived some unforgettable years, and I want to tell you a few suggestions so that everything goes well. Here we go!
Tips for Studying Abroad
# 1 Do it
If you are doubting whether or not to study abroad, do it. Being able to live outside of your country for a while will open your mind and help you in many aspects of your life. Do not hesitate, go on the adventure!
# 2 Prepare with Time
Preparing and organizing to go abroad to study takes time and dedication. I recommend that you start getting ready as soon as possible and that way you will avoid many setbacks.
# 3 Make a Task List
I recommend that you create a document and list all the things you have to do in order to be able to study outside of your country. This will help you stay on course and not get distracted.
# 4 Find a Group of Ideal Friends
Here I would like to highlight the word “ideal”. Normally, we tend to look for people who make us feel comfortable, but this is not always the best thing. What I’m saying is that you try to find people who speak other languages to you and who do different activities. You will learn new things that you cannot do at home, and you will improve the language more.
# 5 Find New Hobbies
Do new things and learn. The universities offer many activities for students, so if you have the opportunity I recommend you to write them all.
# 6 Be careful with the Notes
You always have to keep an eye on the academic part. If you plan to study at a university in the United States as I did, you should look very well at the syllabus. Knowing the structure of the course and dates of the exams will avoid many problems, believe me.
# 7 Learn to Save
It is important to know how to spend the money wisely. Pay attention to how much money you spend and in what things. Personally, I set a monthly spending limit, and I tried to save money to make trips.
# 8 Participate in a Sports Team and other Activities
Being able to be part of a team has many advantages. It helps you learn and improve from others, as well as being able to create a strong bond with your classmates. The United States is a great example in terms of sports since American universities employ a dedication and tremendous effort in helping the student through sports.
# 9 Talk to the Professors
Sometimes you learn more outside the classroom than inside. I personally talked a lot with a teacher that I liked a lot, and this gave me the opportunity to learn. I recommend that if you have a teacher that you admire, go and talk to him. You will be surprised what you can learn from him or her. It’s a great way to find your first mentor.
# 10 Find a Girlfriend / Boyfriend
One of my best tips is to find a partner. With your partner, you will discover new places and local customs, as well as improve the language a lot.
# 11 Register to Classes with Time
In the case of the United States, if you take time and are among the last students to register, it is likely that you will not be able to register for the classes you want since it is very possible that they are full. It is important that you register as soon as you open the registration period. So you can register to the classes you want, with the schedule that best suits you, and with the teachers you want.
# 12 Form Part of a Fraternity or Brotherhood
A great way to meet people is to be part of fraternities (if you are a man) or brotherhoods (if you are a woman). These organizations are very popular in the universities of the United States, and they are very important for universities. Here you will find friends for life, many activities, and if you like the party, here you have all you want!
# 13 Celebrate National Holidays
Traveling to a different country will help you to know new cultures and celebrations. In my opinion, national holidays are a unique experience that without a doubt you should give an opportunity.
# 14 Book the Airline Tickets as Soon as Possible
Air tickets are not cheap, especially for us, the students. One way to save money is to organize with time and book the tickets as soon as possible. I recommend that you buy the plane tickets as soon as you know the dates on which you start and finish the classes.
# 15 Prepare for the TOEFL and SAT exams
It is very important that you start preparing the TOEFL and SAT exams in advance. This type of exam requires time and effort to do it in the best possible way.
# 16 Settle in one place
The reason here is simple, save money and hassles. Normally, once the studies are finished, the students decide to go somewhere else, so if you buy a lot of furniture for your house or apartment. You will have to sell them so as not to lose money.
# 17 Resell those furniture You’ve Bought
One of my tips when reselling the furniture you’ve already bought is to sell it to first-year students (freshmen) who need furniture. Another way is to use the popular platform “Craiglist” where you can buy and sell everything.
# 18 Invest in a Bed
It may sound weird, but based on my experience I recommend you get a good bed. Many students sleep on inflatable mattresses or bad beds and can cause many injuries over time. Think of this as a long-term investment.
# 19 Cooking your Own Food
Buying food at the supermarket and cooking it at home will help you save a lot of money, in addition to eating healthier. To get an idea, a student who eats and dines outside the house every day usually spends an average of more than a thousand dollars a month. On the other hand, a student who buys and cooks their food every day can spend approximately $ 400 per month. It’s a lot of difference, right?
# 20 Beware of fast food
America is the land of fast food, be careful! Fast food is one of the main obesity in the United States, and none of us wants to be obese. In the United States, you will see many McDonald’s, as well as your friend Burger King on the sidewalk in front along with many other fast food restaurants.
# 21 Choose the form of transport that best suits your situation
It depends on where you live, there are times when you need to buy your own vehicle, while at other times it is better to use public transport. In my case, when I studied at the University of Missouri, I needed to buy a car, because I needed it to go to the campus every day. On the other hand, a student who studies at a university in the center of New York would not need a car, it would simply be enough to use the subway or the bus.
# 22 Buy a Second-Hand Car
If you need to buy a car as it was my case, I recommend you buy a second-hand car instead of a new one. This way you will not lose so much money to sell it again.
# 23 Keep the car in good condition
Check your car regularly. It is very important when selling it.
# 24 Check the Status of your Visa
Having a visa in order is crucial to avoid problems in the future. Remember to keep an eye on the expiration date from time to time.
# 25 Take advantage of Travel
After spending 8 years living in the United States, one of the things I regret is not traveling anymore. Each state in the country is unique and they have places of interest. I recommend you try to visit as many states as possible.
These have been my best tips for when you study abroad. I hope you enjoy an incredible experience and that you make the most of the time you are studying outside.