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!
Get new posts delivered by email:
Top Travel Deals on RSS
3 Football Attractions To Touch Down at in the U.S.Comments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Across the country, there are a number of spots that pay tribute to American football. If you want to be a true fan, you can touch down at these three football meccas in the United States....read more
Shopping in Italy: 8 Phrases You Need To KnowComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Shopping is a fine art in the boot-shaped country. Before you jet off and try to fumble your way into buying what you want, be sure to master these eight Italian phrases for shopping....read more
3 Live Music Venues in Los AngelesComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Los Angeles is a great place to hear live music. There is no shortage of live music venues – small and large – at which to hear quality performances in all genres. While it’s definitely fun to attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl or the Walt Disney Concert Hall, nothing beats hearing music in a more intimate concert setting. Here are three of my favorite smaller music venues in L.A....read more
3 Ways to Pass the Time at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport)Comments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Here are my suggestions for three ways to pass the time while waiting for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport. All of the locations mentioned here can be found in the state-of-the-art Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX....read more
Fall Foliage Finder: 4 Leaf Peeping Apps for AutumnComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Before you go peeping for fall foliage, you might want to stash these leaf peeping apps on your phone to ensure you don’t head to an area that hasn’t peeked or is way past its fall prime....read more
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.
© 2014 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.