Organise your course selection in advance
If possible, you should organise the specifics of your course and credits before travelling to your chosen university or college. If you’re going on an exchange, the administrative processes may be different to those of your home institution, so it may take some time to understand how things work. Having a plan in place before you arrive means you can avoid unnecessary stress in the already demanding first days of your study abroad programme.
A great way to prepare yourself for your study abroad is to ask people who have followed the same programme about their experiences. In doing so, you might be able to get invaluable information on the courses or modules available, practical information on accommodation, or suggestions for places to visit, for example. You may also be able to connect with others who will be studying alongside you via social media pages and groups, where you can share insights with one another.
Meet the locals
If you want to improve your language skills, talking to native speakers is the best way to learn. For example, you can meet new people joining groups and societies based on your interests, or attending a language exchange in a cafe. By getting to know the locals, you might also be lucky enough to share the experience of cultural festivities and local events for example, and make lasting connections in your place of study.
Instead of sticking to what you know, try to immerse yourself in the culture of the country you’re studying in. Try the local cuisine and get to know the local history and culture. This will enrich your study abroad experience, and can give valuable context to the language you’re learning. Make the most of your free time by visiting nearby cities, landmarks, sites of historical significance, areas of natural beauty, museums and other cultural centres such as theatres, concert halls and art galleries.
Try something new
If you don’t already speak the language of the country you are studying in, why not enrol in a beginners’ course? Alternatively, you might like to pick up a new sport or hobby during your time abroad. There may even be activities on offer that you wouldn’t be able to try at home. Why not give one of them a go?
Don’t forget to study!
Although you’ll want to make the most of your time abroad, you will still need to pass your courses. Set aside some time each day to study, and don’t get complacent. If you’re studying the language, take advantage of the immersive environment and seek out every opportunity to practise. Why not try to keep a little time free each day to focus on honing a particular skill?
We hope this advice helps you to have a fantastic experience during your study abroad programme! Check out our related articles on why you should dare to work abroad and how living abroad can boost your self-awareness.
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- Publication date
- 26 July 2019
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Hints and tipsYouth
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