8 Tips For Preparing To Study Abroad

8 Tips For Preparing To Study Abroad

Preparing to study abroad can be so overwhelming. These tips may help it be a little easier.

As I prepare to leave for five months to a country I have never been to I am rapidly realizing how clueless I am about leaving to live in another country. Though my university has been incredibly helpful in preparing me for what to expect, I have also realized that there is quite a lot that my university could not prepare me for. Everyone tells you what to prepare for when you have finally arrived in your new city, but barely anyone tells you how to get ready to leave. This is what I have now learned to be ready for when prepping for my study abroad.

1. Be prepared for people to not support you.

You would think that everyone would be supportive of your amazing adventure but sadly, they aren't. I can't begin to understand why people wouldn't be supportive but in the months leading up to your departure you might find yourself having to convince others why you are studying abroad. Though it can be difficult, just remember that the people that really care about you will be supportive.

2. Expect the unexpected.

It may be cliched but you need to be prepared for everything. You think you have completely filled out your visa application without a single error? Good try. Something is always wrong, even if it wasn't your fault. Make sure you check in frequently with everyone you need to in order to avoid a last minute panic because you actually didn't get your visa approved.

3. Prepare to have doubts.

I have wanted to study abroad for years but even I had doubts about spending the entire semester in another country. This is normal. You will be out of you comfort zone and that is okay. Talk to someone about your anxieties. It is normal to worry that you will feel homesick, struggle to adapt and find yourself feeling lonely. Just remember that you will be okay. All you need to do is take it one day at a time.

4. Accept that you will feel overwhelmed at times.

Sometimes it seems like when it rains, it pours. Things were going fine and then all of the sudden you get a call from the consulate that there is a problem with your visa, insurance won't call you back, your flights got changed and you have nothing packed. And this all happened before ten in the morning. Take a deep breath. Of course, this is overwhelming but just keep moving forward. Everything will work out.

5. Be prepared for extra expenses.

Studying abroad can be expensive. You might think you have a budget set, and then you realize all of the miscellaneous items you need to buy before you leave. Keep this in mind. Try to be at least a little flexible in your budget.

6. Try to enjoy your last few weeks at home.

It might be hard to enjoy your time at home when you're overwhelmed with everything that you have to get done but try to have some fun in your last few weeks. Do all the cliched things you love about your hometown. It will be a while before you get to do these things again.

7. Understand that you won't have time for everything.

You might want to say goodbye to everyone you ever met before you leave but between packing, paperwork and endless phone calls you probably won't have time. do your best to explain that to people. Tell them that you will see them when you get back. Besides, you will have way better stories to tell if you see them when you return!

8. Buy vacuum sealing bags.

This is quite possibly the best idea I have ever had. You will have so much extra room in your suitcases. Trust me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.


So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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