The experts’ best study abroad advice
Are you going to study abroad or do you think about doing so? We asked eight different experts to give us their best study abroad advice which we present to you below.
1. Just do it!
Seattle Central College have 1500 international students. Their best study abroad advice is similar to the Nike slogan that you see everywhere in the US - “Just Do It!”
Studying abroad is a unique rewarding experience that offers you opportunity after opportunity to grow academically and personally, but you’ll never get the chance to see where it can take you if you don’t pursue it. So, whether you’re pondering taking the first step and applying to a school abroad, or you are already abroad and thinking of getting involved on campus, our advice is to “Just Do It”! Be bold, take the risk, and see what amazing things come your way!
2. Enjoy and dare to fail
Ashville Harrogate provide English language courses for students aged 6-18. Their advice is to enjoy and dare to fail!
One of the most important ingredients in life and when you study abroad is failure. Have the confidence to get things wrong. Try something new and don’t be afraid about that. We learn from our mistakes and to get results you must dare to try.
The other most important ingredient when you study abroad is enjoyment. Enjoy what you are doing and if there is any aspect in there that you don’t enjoy please speak to your hosts and they will make it right for you. Studying abroad should be joyful so make the most of it.
3. Learn a language like a child
When you study abroad you will often be exposed to another language, your studies might even be centered on learning that language. Eurocentres are experts on language learning. They have language schools in 16 different countries all around the world. Here is their study abroad advice:
Our best advice on how to learn a new language abroad is to learn it like a child would do it. Children aren’t self-conscious. They don’t get embarrassed. They don’t worry about making mistakes. They copy the words they hear and keep trying to use these words, even if the first time they get it wrong. They experiment with using the words. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong but they don’t mind.
And most importantly, they are curious. Children constantly try to explore new things and find out new words. If no one is around, they will talk to themselves or make up stories with the words they have just learned. Instead of worrying that you can’t do something, remember that you haven’t learned it yet. Accept that you don’t know everything and that you will make lots of mistakes while you learn and experiment!
4. Get to know people from all over the world
Gateway School of English is a language school in Malta. They believe that a study abroad opportunity is an experience that will enrich you as a person, making you more aware of the world’s diversity and of the importance of reaching out across cultural barriers. In short, as the name of the school implies, it is a gateway to the world and a pathway to success.
Therefore their best advice to students studying abroad is to not only concentrate on their studies or the subjects they are learning but to also dedicate time to mixing and socialising with other students of various cultures and different nationalities. This enriching multicultural experience will certainly help you in your future career roles such as decision making processes, and most important of all in dealing with people from different cultural backgrounds in a globalised commercial environment which has nowadays become the norm rather than the exception.
5. Make a diary and backup important documents
With LSF you can learn French in Montpellier in Southern France. They have a lot of different tips for students studying abroad. Here are some of them:
Make a diary, think how fun it will be to read a few years later!
In case you lose your documents or your phone, scan copies of your passport, visas, bank documents, friends and family contacts etc and send it to your own email. If you don’t want your parents to worry too much and call you too often, give them all the details about your address, contacts etc.
Last thing, don’t forget to go to class… :-)
6. Try something new
International House Sydney offers English language courses at three different campuses in Australia. Here are their best study abroad advice:
Embrace the opportunity to be overseas and be your real self. Discover new things, new people, new cultures, embrace the difference. Be open to new friends, different people, try not to be in your comfort zone only with the ones with the same language, background. Enjoy the opportunity to experience something different than what you have everyday, learn a language, develop a new passion, a hobby, do good. Take all this back to your home and spread it.
7. Say yes and be active
Liden & Denz is a Russian language school. Their best study abroad advice is say yes and be active!
Learning any language abroad might be overwhelming experience: heavy grammar, new school environment, fellow students, homework and homesickness… The trick is to throw yourself into it! Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to discover a different culture and explore a new country.
The best advice is to try and overcome these insecurities by truly embracing your time abroad. Take part in everything school has to offer – field trips, excursions, and traditional cuisine master classes. Make friends in school – teachers included – and outside. Use social networks. Ask questions. Read the local news. Do the bar hopping with locals. Say yes to that coffee date, strike up conversation in basic Russian and go exploring! The ‘best time of your life’ cliché is a cliché for a reason – it’s true!
8. Don’t give up!
Finally I add my own study abroad advice from dreamstudiesabroad.com I have studied abroad many times. The first time I was 18 years old when I went as a high school exchange student to the US. My best study abroad advice is don’t give up!
One thing is for sure when you study abroad, it will not be as you have imagined it. The first night alone in your student room you might ask yourself what you have gotten yourself into. Will I really live here for a year? That is when you should relax and don’t give up.
The days before the school starts are the most challenging for many people. Before you get to know people, have established new routines and got yourself a social context. Just relax and do some sightseeing. The rest will come once the school starts. Most students abroad enjoy their stay more and more the longer they stay. Don’t just sit in your room and chat with your friends at home. Go out and meet people, explore your place of study and live here and now!
If you don’t enjoy your studies abroad you should think about what made you want to go in the first place. Is there something you could do to improve the situation? Don’t take the easy way out and go home. It is by staying and hanging in there that you will grow as a person. If you complete your program you will come home with an improved CV, better language skills, new impressions and not least memories and friends for life. So don’t give up!