Study abroad experiences are what turn many students into life long travelers. However, these experiences in high school and college studying in foreign lands do not come without mistakes. I tried to spend the majority of my collegiate years outside of the country, studying in some of Italy’s most idyllic locales of Sicily, Sorrento and Florence. And while each study abroad experience was enriching, life changing and meaningful, I made mistakes I easily could have avoided. As many college students gear up to spend their upcoming semester abroad or while others contemplate a spring spent studying abroad, don’t make these common mistakes.
Don’t Pack Several Suitcases: I was extremely naive in the packing department. I reasoned that showing up to Sicily with three suitcases wouldn’t be unreasonable. After all, I would be spending six months away without my entire wardrobe. I guess I wanted to bring said wardrobe with me, all the way to an island in the Mediterranean. This is one of the biggest mistakes I saw while studying abroad in others and myself. Now, I can’t believe I tried to handle three bags on my own.
Even though you are going away for a longer period of time than a vacation, you don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe. A good rule to follow is to only bring the number of bags that you have arms. A rolling suitcase or backpack and some sort of carry on bag will suffice. Surprisingly you can wash your clothes all around the world. Other countries do have detergent and washers. While you might be packing for multiple seasons, try to only bring items that have a dual purpose. If you can’t fit it in your bag, you can always buy what you need at your study abroad base in most cases.
Don’t Schedule All Weekends Away: On my study abroad semester in Florence, I remember the majority of students scheduled all of their weekends away from Florence. While they were all jetting off to Madrid and London, I was staying put. I wanted to get to know Florence, at least for a few weekends. When I talk to old study abroad friends, many lament that they didn’t spend enough time in the actual place they were studying abroad. While many schools offer packaged weekend trips away from the city, resist scheduling all of your weekends away. Otherwise you could risk seeing very little of the place you are studying. You did come to this spot for a reason.
Don’t Just Consider Living in Apartments With Other Students: When I studied abroad in Italy, on a few occasions I lived in apartments with other students. On the other study abroad stints, I lived with host families. While both experiences have their advantages, many study abroad students create their own collegiate lives abroad. They only socialize with other students of their background. They live with each other and sometimes don’t know a single local. If you are considering studying abroad, think beyond the normal living arrangements. A homestay is a great way to get to know the locals on a personal level and in some cases improve foreign language skills. If you can only live in student apartments, take advantage of school events like language exchanges and volunteer projects that allow you to get to know locals.
Don’t Treat Your Study Abroad Destination Like Home: Study abroad students can be a local’s worst nightmare at times. Many college students go abroad and treat these foreign destinations just like they would their homes. Just because you can stay out until all hours of the night back home doesn’t mean it is always the best thing to do in certain places. Many students are targets for thieves as they can let down their inhibitions while abroad. From how you dress to how you behave in public, you shouldn’t treat your study abroad base as you would your home. It is different culturally from where you are coming from and should be approached accordingly in order to avoid sour relationships with locals, unsafe scenarios and cultural insults.
Like us on Facebook for more travel tips for students!
Editor's Top Picks Delivered Weekly
Miami Club Rum: Miami's First Rum DistilleryComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Where could be better to sip a refreshing tropical cocktail than glamorous Miami, FLA? Swaying palm trees, beautiful people, crystal blue sea, broad sandy beaches, an amazing dining scene, plenty of great bars and some of the best nightlife in the world … Miami offers just the right mix of fun and sun no matter you like to shake things up when enjoying your Florida vacation. So it only makes since that America's Latin flavored party capital should have it's own rum to go along with all the good times. And guess what rum lovers? Now it does....read more
Keep Calm and Carry-On: Three Tools to Have to Make Carry-On Baggage EasierComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
I’m sitting in the gate, worried about my carry-on bag. It looks as though it will make the flight, but it is the lifting into the overhead bin that scares me. Getting my carry-on bag onto the plane is more like weight training each and every flight. Packing that carry-on is a test in just how many items will get left behind for space just won’t allow. If you want to avoid checked baggage fees and you want to have your bag right when you land, packing a carry-on bag is often your only option. However, traveling with a carry-on bag is a whole different story. The traveler must think about the weight of the bag, the weight of the bag’s contents and just how to make the most out of the little space that you have. In order to make traveling with carry-on baggage easier, you might want to seek out these three tools to help lighten the load of a carry-on bag....read more
Rules of the Resto: Tips on Dining in ParisComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Dining out at a nice restaurant in Paris is something everyone should experience. Even though most Parisian waiters a well acquainted with the dining habits of American tourists, it’s important to remain aware and respectful of French dining norms and etiquette. Here are some things to keep in mind:...read more
Three Freebies in HonoluluComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Located on the island of Oahu, Honolulu is often a launching point for exploring the island and the rest of the state. However, Honolulu shouldn’t just be a pass through city. The state capital is the only true city in Hawaii, with plenty to see, do and experience. And while those tropical drinks at your secluded hotel on Oahu will cost you along with that hotel room, Honolulu offers plenty of ways to save. Here are three freebies in Hawaii’s capital city that won’t cost you a penny but will leave you rich with an understanding for Honolulu....read more
Mozzarella and the City: Where to Get the Good Stuff in LondonComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0
Mozzarella di Buffalo (buffalo milk mozzarella) has become something of a celebrated cheese in London lately with new mozzarella bars opening and fine dining establishments featuring it prominently on their menus. A good number of quality delis, pizzerias and restaurants around town now carry the proper white stuff. Here's a look at a few of the best....read more
Enter Promo at time of check out. Promo code provides $15 or the amount of the promo code, discount for stated routes against our service fees. Use of Promo code is in addition to any applicable instant savings offers. Actual amount of discount varies based on the service fees charged. Service fee discount will be up to the amount of the service fees charged less any applicable instant savings for that transaction or the value of the promo code, whichever is less. Promo code expires on date stated and can be withdrawn without notice.
California: CST #2090295-40, Nevada: SOT #2007-0081, Iowa: SOT #883, Washington: SOT #6027859380010001
Some of the content posted herein are the views and opinions of the individual blogger's and do not represent the views and opinions of OneTravel. It may be the case that OneTravel is partnering with a particular travel supplier mentioned in a blog post, however, all views and opinions expressed herein by parties other then OneTravel are by the respective bloggers.
© 2013 W K Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright for all material appearing on this website is owned by W K Travel, Inc. Persons accessing this website are authorized to view and print material from this website for information purposes only. Any other use of this material is restricted to non-commercial purposes and must include this copyright notice.
W K Travel Inc. owns the following Trademarks and Servicemarks appearing on this website:
OneTravel, OneTravel.com, and 1Travel. Trademarks and servicemarks for all other products and services appearing on this website are the trademarks and servicemarks of their respective owners.