There are many articles on the Internet about how to have the best study abroad experience.
With all of these people and companies giving you advice about something as monumental as deciding to study abroad, it can get overwhelming fast.
This is the main reason why, for my blog post this week, I decided to look at 2 different “tips for study abroad” articles, just to compare and contrast them. These articles are from different publications, written by different people, and intended for different demographics.
The first article we’ll be looking at is from Teen Vogue, “Ten Tips on Making the Most of Your Study Abroad Experience”. The tips are as follows:
- Set specific goals
- Befriend the locals
- Sign up for classes that allow you to explore
- If you’re staying with a host family, get to know them
- Wait a few weeks after your arrival to travel
- Don’t let language barriers deter you
- Consider getting a job or an internship
- Spend wisely
- Avoid dangerous situations
- Take an active approach to fighting homesickness
The goals in this list are good. If you followed each one, you’d have a very well-rounded, enlightening experience abroad. My favorites? Sign up for classes that allow you to explore–no one wants to be studying economics in a library in Rome!
Also, this site has good options if you’re looking to find employment abroad. Make sure to also discuss this option with your advisor.
This article does a nice job of including quotes from experts on particular topics. For example, when discussing getting to know your host family, the author used a quote from Lauren Seidl, a member of GoAbroad’s Content and Outreach Team.
The second article we’ll be discussing is from WeHostels’, “7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Study Abroad Semester”. The tips in this article are as follows:
- Don’t let homesickness ruin the experience
- Live like a local
- Forget about the money
- Practice the language
- Don’t be afraid to not have a plan
- Put studying on the back burner
- Step out of your comfort zone
I found it to be very interesting that the two articles share only one similarity in their lists: don’t let homesickness rule your life.
I think that the tips for WeHostels’ are perhaps for more seasoned travelers, or for those who definitely know that they’re studying abroad. The Teen Vogue article, in contrast, is for a less committed audience.
Overall, I think that both of these articles serve their purposes and audiences well. These tips are all important and, if you follow them all (or even just a few), you’re in for a rewarding experience.