Studying abroad can be a rich and fulfilling experience for any student, especially those who have their eyes on a rich educational future. It may be worth getting hold of an international sim card or world phone for your travels, they can bring peace of mind that your relatives and friends will be able to contact you no matter where you are in the world. While many high school students out there are able to participate in student exchange programs before college the most viable and useful study abroad programs are often made available to students in college. Students are given the opportunity to study in their field at a campus in another country, live with a host family or in student housing, and immerse themselves in the culture of that other area.
One of the great things about traveling abroad is that the school can take care of a lot of the complications that a traveling student might otherwise have to deal with on their own. There are some things that a student traveling abroad could do to make their trip as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
Research, Research, Research!
Before you travel somewhere in particular, do some research on your destination. In instances like studying abroad where you plan on spending an extended period of time, becoming as knowledgeable in the customs and culture of your destination as possible is critical to having a pleasurable experience. This includes everything from history to politics and current events.
It may also be a good idea to do a bit of research into customs and etiquette for the country you are planning to study in. Rules and laws change from culture to culture. Where certain things might be expected in one country, these same things may be against the law in another. The same goes for manners and etiquette. What members of one culture consider to be the norm might be enough to offend people in another country.
Brush Up on the Language
While nobody will expect you to be fluent in the language of the country in which you plan to study abroad, it will make your life easier to have some understanding of basic words and phrases in that language. It often helps to buy a dictionary of common phrases and words. It may be helpful to learn how to get a hold of the police or other emergency officials, how to order your favorite foods, how to ask how much something is, and other basic things like that.
Find Out What You’ll Need
There are certain things you will need in order to travel and live overseas. Be sure that you have your passport and identification together, as well as any insurance (such as medical insurance, traveler’s insurance, etc). Also, locate the closest United States Embassy to where you will be staying, just in case you are in need of their resources during their stay.
Spend as much time possible learning about the country and the culture, getting together basic and necessary documentation and brushing up on basic phrases in the country’s language before leaving. You may also want to take a look at some of the following resources to be as prepared as humanly possible
The United States Department of State—Studying Abroad