Studying abroad is and experience that truly cannot be described. You are entering a totally new atmosphere. Wherever you choose to travel to, it will be worth it. While you’re there, these are the three things to focus on:
1. Meet the Locals
You will become friends with locals. The locals allow you to gain an insight on the culture that you couldn’t understand without talking to them. You can read all you want, but you will never fully understand their social norms unless you submerge yourself into their environment.
Befriending locals allows you to expand your horizons from beyond the local tourist points and find the hidden gems of the city.
2. Gain New Skills
You will better your skills. Going to places with cultures very different from your own expands not only your knowledge, but your communication and interpersonal skills, as well. Language barriers worry people – but that is part of the beauty of new places. You learn different words and slang within that country and can then understand the way people communicate to one another. You discover what kinds of things influence the people there (gender, socioeconomic status, etc.).
3. Enjoy Yourself
You will have the absolute time of your life.
Everyday is a chance for a new adventure. You get fill each and every day with the beauty of a different culture. You get to taste new foods, learn a different language, stay up too late, maybe drink too much, and spend day after day enjoying your wonderful company – whoever that may be.
The number one reason I picked my university is because they had ways to travel. From the first day you tour the school, they make sure you understand that traveling is a huge part of what makes your experience, your education, and the school itself.
So no matter what, study hard and travel harder. I promise you that the best way to learn about a culture is to live it, breath it, and speak it every single day.
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