Studying abroad is the icing on the cake for anyone's education. If you've already consulted a study abroad guide, there's probably a lot you already know before venturing out to study a course abroad. But you should be prepared for more than just language or culture. With proper preparation, studying abroad can be one of the best experiences of your life.
However, it never hurts to remember those essential points that many of those who have studied abroad insist on taking into account if you decide to embark on this adventure. No matter where you decide to study, these tips are valid for any country: a language immersion in Ireland, a school year in the USA, a Master's degree in Finland or an MBA at one of the Business Schools in Spain. Keep these tips in mind and take advantage of this great opportunity that life has to offer.
Things you should know before you go to study abroad
1.- The first week is the most complicated
When you go on a school immersion in the United States, Great Britain or Canada, everything is new. New city, new culture, need to make new friends. A person always needs time to get used to this new environment. For this reason, the first week is always the most complicated for any student who ventures to take a course abroad.
However, don't confuse the term complicated with having a negative experience. This experience is always positive because it is part of your personal growth and your ability to improve. Think that the rest of the students who are taking the course are in the same situation as you. They have the same needs and are open to new experiences and to receive your support by giving you theirs at the same time.
2.- You will have to study
Although it seems obvious, many people think that study abroad programs are sometimes a disguised vacation for students. The idea that grades are given away in courses taken in another country is a common misconception. Studying doesn't have to be easier just because you're in another country. Although the level of demand will depend on the university, study center or country you choose to study. But do you really want to miss out on this unique opportunity?
3.- It is impossible to plan absolutely everything before you leave
Another thing to know before studying abroad is that you cannot plan absolutely everything before you go to study abroad. Some students want to take the whole itinerary with them, knowing all the excursions they are going to make and all the places they are going to visit.
Plan the essentials, but don't want to have all your days planned out, because you will find that as you get to know people and integrate into the way of life of the country you will want to do other things that were not in your plans. That's why it's essential to leave room for improvisation. Let life surprise you.
4.- Don't stand still
If you are going to study abroad, do not stay in the same place at any time. Travel as much as you can. Don't miss any opportunity to see new places or do new activities. Immerse yourself in a new culture. Discover local people and connect with the country's traditions. This is the ideal way to experience a new place. You never know when a similar opportunity will arise again.
5.- The friends you make will last a lifetime
Generally, studying abroad is a very intense experience that makes you connect a lot with all the people you meet during your academic year. For this reason, the bonds of friendship that are forged during those months are usually very intense. This makes the friendships last over time.
6.- Keeping in touch with your family is very simple, but you have to know how to disconnect
The concern of the family is usually present when a young person leaves home to study many miles away, in another country. Nowadays, maintaining contact with the family is a simple task. Technology removes barriers that were previously complicated. However, our recommendation is that in order to fully experience immersion in another culture, it is important that we do not constantly keep track of our families. In order to connect with the new culture, it will be necessary to disconnect a little from the one we left at home.
7.- You will have good days and bad days
Studying abroad is one of the best experiences you can have in life, but as with all experiences, you will have good days and bad days. Although the overall experience is generally very positive for most students, you may have days when you miss home. Just understand that it is normal to have fluctuations in your mood. The support of your new friends and family will help you overcome these difficulties.
8.- Going home is more difficult than leaving
One of the last things you should know before you go to study in a foreign country is that for most students, returning home is much more difficult than leaving home. The ties with friends, the freedom to live abroad and organize one's life, make this period so fulfilling and so beautiful that it is very difficult to say goodbye and return home.
These are some of the things to know before studying abroad. A school immersion in the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Sweden, Italy or the United States is an unforgettable experience. Every student will have a different experience during their school year. But all of them will enjoy unforgettable experiences in their memories.