Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity for you to combine education with valuable life experiences. Now that the internet makes global information access available with just a few key taps, you can prepare yourself for the best international study experience. But students do run into some problems because of frequently made mistakes. Below are five biggest mistakes that students make when they study abroad that you can avoid in order to have the ideal study abroad experience that you will never want to forget.
Sure, there’s a romantic idea behind taking off from your homeland to some other place that you know absolutely nothing about, but this is not a good idea when you are trying to study in a new country! Keep in mind that you can never go to a strange place without being prepared enough. You must absolutely take the time to get acquainted with the country you are about to enter. Important things to learn about prior to your arrival is visa requirements, currency information, the country’s culture and traditions, the climate, and what the language spoken there is.
Not Knowing the Language
English certainly is an advantageous language to know, but when you go to a different country, there’s no guarantee that everyone you run into will know your language. When you go to a country where English is not the national language, make the effort to learn the language of that country. For one, it shows that you are invested in spending the time there and immerse yourself during that time. For another, you’ll get to know the country more intimately. You may even make new friends locally! How rewarding is that?
Not Stepping Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Being in a new country with new people and surroundings can definitely be daunting, but don’t let this fear keep you in your room and campus area. Explore! If you do the research, you’ll feel less afraid about going on that hike, or visiting that beach, or taking a trip to that museum and cafe. Embrace the country and all that it has to offer during your time there!
Not Building a Resume
If you intend to work while studying in another country, be prepared to encounter a few obstacles. A specialist from the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. says the job search process differs from country to country, so you may find that you are not getting the interest you expect from employers when you first begin your search in a new region. You will need to rework your resume to appeal, while remaining honest and direct, to employers in your new location. If you aren’t fluent in the language, enlist the help of a native speaker to proofread your resume before giving it out to potential employers.
Don’t Forget to Keep a Journal
There’s nothing better than learning and experiencing something new. Don’t forget to keep track of all your experiences during your time there! You might want to look back on this time and see how much you’ve grown since, or reminisce back on good times.
All in all, studying abroad can be a little daunting but, if you arrive prepared, you’ll have nothing to fear. Be sure to do the research prior to your trip and you should have nothing standing in your way. Good luck and safe travels!