These thoughts are completely normal. To put your mind at rest, and help you have the most rewarding time possible, we’ve put together some top tips to make the most of your year abroad.
Embrace the change in culture
You’re heading off to a completely new country, with a different culture and as much as you research and prepare yourself, it can take a little time to adjust.
Don’t worry if you don’t settle immediately, take the time to lean into the culture; visit historical sites, learn the local language, and try the traditional cuisine.
Explore the city and familiarise yourself with the area. The more you know the city, the more comfortable you will feel.
Making new friends
There’s going to be lots of people in the same position as you: not really knowing anybody having moved to a brand new country. This shared experience means you’re likely to make lifelong friends because you’ll connect on a different level, and experience new things together during your time studying.
Along with your study abroad friends, be sure to make an effort with the local students. Having friends from wherever you may be studying will broaden your cultural understanding. You’ll get to know the area better, and where exactly to visit. Plus this can lead to invitations to different events and places you wouldn’t get to experience otherwise.
Being away from your family, friends and home in another country could possibly make you feel a little homesick. Remember to keep in regular contact with those closest to you whether that be by video chat, call or message.
Missing home comforts won’t last forever and neither will your time abroad. Keeping busy will help with any possible homesickness; get out there, have some adventure discovering your new city with newfound friends and make the most of your year abroad.
TIP: If you’re looking for accommodation at any time, before or after your year abroad look no further. For some of the best student accommodation in Glasgow, Novel has you covered.
Make yourself at home
Studying abroad for a year is a great opportunity to see more of the world. You will have a new city to explore, but once you’re comfortable, you can travel further afield.
It’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of semester breaks to visit other cities or even other countries that would otherwise be a lot further away to travel to.
Your studies should always remain the most important thing about your year abroad. However, take advantage of any travel opportunities, you’re not there forever so make memories while you can.
Remember why you’re there (to study)
After all, it’s why you went to university and why you undertook a year abroad. Keep that in mind and try to learn as much as possible while you’re there.
There might be points where you’re feeling overwhelmed with deadlines or homesick and don’t feel like sitting in a lecture, but delve in and make the most of your time in an exciting new country.