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© 2017 by Olivia Ewing. Created by Wix.com

Five Things I've Learned Abroad

July 29, 2017

 

 

Moving to another country, even if for only two months, is an intimidating idea nonetheless. I had been to Europe before, but the idea of living there without the comfort of my family and closest friends made me a bit anxious, super ecstatic, and forced into independence like never before!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I have my own apartment, go to school full-time, work a part-time job, pay ~some~ of my own bills… I thought I was pretty independent before this trip. But this trip has taught me so much and has shaped me into a stronger person in such a short amount of time. I wanted to share with everyone what I’ve learned to be most important to me thus far! 

 

Be ready to take many steps outside of your comfort zone...

When you’re moving to another country, there are many things to consider that you may have never had to think about before… Cultural differences and appropriation, food you didn’t even know existed, and of course the language barrier. The list goes on! Observe and study the culture you’re emerging yourself in before moving there, and don’t be afraid of these differences you will encounter! Try to embrace these differences and grow an appreciation for something new.

 

Being cultured WILL enhance your future opportunities...

Studying abroad is something I will never regret doing! By placing yourself in an unfamiliar atmosphere, you’re proving to yourself ~and future job/intern employers~ that you can adapt in any type of environment. I promise you, it is not a waste of time and you will learn so much more than you think.

 

Learn to budget, and learn fast...

Many students come abroad with their own savings and maybe some money from mom and dad, so the last thing you want to do is run out thousands of miles away. Learning how to make a weekly budget can keep you on a great track, because we often forget the exchange rates when we swipe a card or hand some cash over. You may be spending more or less than you think, depending on the country you’re in. Keeping up with your spendings can be super helpful and allow you to have extra money to treat yourself!

 

Adjust to the lack of communication with everyone back home...

Even with international plans, communication with friends and family is slim to none some days. Wifi signal isn’t always strong, time differences makes a huge difference, and phone calls often cost a pretty penny! Try to embrace the area you’re in and think of this as your free time.

 

This opportunity is for YOU...

If you’re traveling with a group or school, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page. People have different interests, want to do different things, see different places... And that’s okay! Make a plan of things you want to do, because odds are you won’t be back in the area you are in for a long time. Don’t sacrifice your happiness on a trip doing things you aren’t truly interested in. Finding a group of friends that make you happy and have similar interests as you can be super helpful for solving this!

 

At the end of the day, traveling and studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime and if you’re fortunate enough to have the chance, pursue it! Au revoir!

 

 


 

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