5 Study Abroad Mistakes to Avoid
Studying abroad is a very exciting opportunity and a journey that students embark upon after having worked very hard to secure admission, save money and invest a big chunk of their time. Studying abroad provides you with an opportunity to meet new and diverse people, gain valuable life experience, and learn about new cultures; that beinStudg said, it can be an overwhelming experience where you are bound to make mistakes that can impact your experience negatively. Here are five mistakes that can hamper your study abroad experience and how to avoid them:
1. Not researching your destination
The destination you choose to pursue your studies in acts as your home away from home for the duration that you are there. It is important to research your destination before you decide to move there. Things that you should research are - culture, customs, laws, and religious beliefs so as to avoid any cultural faux pas and make you feel comfortable. Researching your destination can help you get well acquainted with your place and help you settle in faster. Not researching your destination can make you feel alien and give you the added responsibility of acquainting yourself with the city whilst you juggle your studies and personal life.
2. Not immersing yourself in the local culture
Your culture is what makes you unique and gives you a purpose. Studying abroad provides you with the opportunity to learn from locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. This will help you expand your horizons and get out of your comfort zone and try new things like food, traditions, and local languages. Make an effort to step out of your student accommodation and get an idea of the history and culture of the destination you have chosen for yourself. Carry out some research beforehand and plan to visit a few iconic places!
3. Not taking advantage of academic opportunities
Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to learn from different individuals and professors who come from different educational backgrounds and have a lot of new things to teach to students. It is important to attend your classes regularly and learn from your professors with their new teaching styles. Make sure to take advantage of your lectures, projects, and other extracurricular activities.
Studying abroad is an expensive affair, and it is important to budget accordingly from the very beginning. If you don’t have an idea of how much money you can end up spending in your new country, it is best to budget wisely. Keep track of your expenses and find ways to save money wherever possible. You can find budgeting apps where you can enter your expenses, and you can also take measures like cooking at home and spending less on unnecessary events in order to save money.
Pro tip - consider applying for a part-time job, an internship, or a gig at your university, which can help you earn some extra cash.
5. Not networking
Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to meet new people from different countries and different career paths and backgrounds. You can meet new people in your classes, during extracurricular activities, and in your student accommodation. This will make your study abroad experience much more enjoyable and teach you new things about life. Another pro of networking is that it can open up new avenues for your career, provide you with new job prospects and help you establish good connections which can be useful in every aspect of your life.
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