Studying Abroad: What You Need To Know

Blog by Tessa Rough, Environmental Studies, CHID Italy

Tessa

Tessa tries something new – paragliding in Switzerland

Do:

  • PACK LIGHT!

I can’t emphasize this enough. Traveling internationally is already expensive – spend your money on experiences instead of extra baggage! Don’t forget to include a smaller pack in your luggage to use for weekend trips.

  • Attempt to learn the language

You don’t have to go out and buy Rosetta Stone, but keeping a book with key phrases in it can go a long way when you’re abroad. Bonus points if you memorize these key phrases!

  • Try Something New

Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone. Make new friends, try new foods and most importantly, soak up the culture around you!

  • Be Aware

Although I am a firm believer the good in the world will always outweigh the bad, traveling abroad can definitely pose some risks. Remember to stay alert, travel with a partner and check in with loved ones regularly.

  • Pack Medicine

Accessing the same medications that are available in the United States can be much more difficult while abroad, especially when a language barrier is involved. Even finding something as simple as Tylenol can pose a problem so pack anything you might need!

  • Bring Outlet Converters (Multiple)

Wherever you are in the world, it’s likely that the outlets will differ from the United States. Research levels of voltage beforehand and bring several converters to avoid experiencing any electrical problems.

 

Don’t:

  • Expect English

Many cultures consider it rude for foreigners to expect everyone to speak English.

  • Drink A Lot

It’s easy to take advantage of the relaxed alcohol laws while abroad; however, this isn’t a good reason to visit a new place. Many study abroad students have also reported feeling less tolerant to alcohol while visiting a foreign place. Always remember, less is more!

  • Forget Cash!

Many stores and restaurants around Europe are cash only so come prepared!