Studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and to improve your language skills. However, before you go, TutorHelp.Club guides and experts suggest the following tips to prepare yourself:
Research the country you are visiting
Find out as much as you can about their history, culture, and politics. This will help you better understand the people and their customs. Some of the things you should try to know beforehand are:
- What is the major religion of the country?
- What is its traditional dress?
- How do they greet one another?
- What foods do they like to eat?
- What are the basic etiquettes you are expected to follow?
Learn the language of your host country
Even if everyone there speaks English, it is important to be able to communicate in the local language. This will help you get around more easily and make new friends.
Even if you only know a few words and phrases, it will be helpful to learn as much of the language as you can. This will make it easier to communicate with the locals and mix in with the culture.
Some of the phrases you must learn in the local language of your new country are:
- How are you?
- Thank you
- I am from ___________
- I don’t understand
- Do you speak English?
- I only know English and __________
- Please help me.
- Where is the bathroom?
Having a translator app on your phone can also be very helpful.
Be sure to pack clothes that are appropriate for the weather in your destination country. Also, make sure to bring any medications you might need, as well as a copy of your prescriptions. If you are travelling to a country that is different from your own, it is also important to research their customs and laws regarding drugs and alcohol.
Some of the things you must pack when travelling abroad are:
- Credit card,
- Debit card,
- Phone charger,
- Adapter if needed,
- Medications you might need, etc.
Pack light as you will likely have to carry your luggage. It can be helpful to pack a small backpack for day trips and leave the rest of your luggage at your accommodation. You might consider buying season-appropriate clothing when you get there, as it will be less to pack and will save on luggage fees.
Remember, you are not allowed to carry any sharp objects, liquids, or gels in your carry-on luggage on international flights. Also, make sure to clearly label all of your belongings with your name and contact information. This will help if you lose anything while you are away.
Be prepared for culture shock
It is normal to feel overwhelmed and confused when you first arrive in a foreign country. For example, if you are from a country where people are typically loud and outspoken, you may find the quiet nature of the locals to be strange. Similarly, if you are used to constantly being around people, the loneliness of being in a foreign country may feel strange.
Just take it one day at a time and give yourself time to adjust. With a little patience, you will soon be feeling right at home.
When travelling to a new country, be prepared to experience new things. Do not go with preconceived notions about the people and culture. Instead, try to learn as much as you can about them and their customs. Remember that not everyone is the same and that there are many different ways of doing things.
- In the US, you might want to try American food such as Mexican dishes in San Diego, a deep-dish pizza in Chicago, a barbeque in Texas or key lime pie in Florida. You should visit iconic attractions like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls and the Statue of Liberty. The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, the Central Park in New York City, and attending a live sports game in or outside the university are some of the other things you must do as an international student in America.
- In the UK, you might want to try fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie or a Sunday roast. You should visit iconic attractions like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. Going to the theatre in London, shopping on Oxford Street and drinking in a traditional pub are some of the other things you must do as an international student in the UK.
- In Australia, you might want to try Australian food such as Vegemite, lamingtons or ANZAC biscuits. You should visit iconic attractions like the Sydney Opera House, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. Going to a cricket or rugby game, surfing at Bondi Beach and hiking in the Blue Mountains are some of the other things you must do as an international student in Australia.
- In Canada, you might want to try Canadian food such as poutine, beaver tails or butter tarts. You should visit iconic attractions like Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains and Parliament Hill. Going to a hockey game, skiing in the Rockies and exploring downtown Toronto are some of the other things you must do as an international student in Canada.
- In China, you might want to try Chinese food such as kung pao chicken, ma po tofu or pork dumplings. You should visit iconic attractions like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Seeing a Yangtze River cruise, climbing Mount Emei and exploring Shanghai are some of the other things you must do as an international student in China.
Studying abroad is a great way to learn about other cultures and customs. By being open-minded and trying new things, you will be able to have a richer and more rewarding international experience. Embrace the new culture and you will soon be enjoying your time abroad to the fullest!
Be aware of your surroundings at all times and take precautions to stay safe. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, and do not carry large sums of money or valuables with you. If you are going to a country with a high crime rate, it is also advisable to purchase travel insurance.
International students often advise new students to follow these safety tips when studying abroad:
- Do not carry original documents with you. Keep a copy of your passport, visa, and flight tickets in a safe place.
- If you are going out at night, try to go with a group of people.
- Be aware of who is around you and what is happening. If something feels wrong, trust your gut and leave.
- Do not drink alcohol to excess or take drugs that are not prescribed to you.
- Be aware of common scams and how to avoid them.
- Stay in touch with your family and friends back home. Let them know where you are and what you are doing.
- If something happens and you need help, contact the nearest embassy or consulate.
Studying abroad can be an amazing experience, but it is important to be prepared before you go. By following these tips, you can make the most of your time abroad and come back with some great memories.