What To Expect When You're Expecting To Study Abroad
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What To Expect When You're Expecting To Study Abroad For The First Time

Some may think it's a little dramatic to treat study abroad like a pregnancy, but it's not.

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What To Expect When You're Expecting To Study Abroad For The First Time
Photo By Kylie Finkbone

For nine months you are constantly planning for this one day. The date has been in your calendar, but it doesn't seem real until you step on that plane, and there is no turning back. At first, when you made this decision, you were excited for the "glow" that came along with it. Little did you know that there would be so much stress from anticipation or tears from the unexpected. All you can really do is plan, plan, and plan. You have a support system of people going through the same thing, as well as people holding your hand along the way. Although when it comes down to it, it is all you. You are out of your comfort zone. Ready or not you are about to participate in one of life's many joys. At the end of everything, you look back and say it was all worth it. This life-changing event allows you to have a new perspective. Studying abroad is like having a baby, so you better prepare!

1. It May Seem Like A Good Idea To Bring Everything "Just In Case", But Don't Do It.

Photo By Anete Lusina on Unsplash

Seriously, pack light. Chances are you won't need that one shirt that you've never worn before, nor even like the way it looks on you, just because you are halfway around the world. It may be cute, but having to pay for your luggage being too heavy isn't. This heavy luggage also must be lugged around from one location to the next. Also, check the temperature. While it may be summer where home is, it may be winter there. This will help eliminate some more unnecessary clothes. Pro tip: wear the same thing twice, or three times for that matter. You are in a different country for a short while; no one expected you to bring your whole closet. This also allows room for you to bring home souvenirs to friends and family.

2. Remember When I Said All You Can Do Is Plan, Plan And Plan, Do It!

Photo By Barna Kovács on Unsplash

Depending on how long the program is, you may not be there for long and you don't want to miss out on anything. Look up places you want to go before the trip and mark the location on a map. That way when you go visit one area, you can see more things at once. Avoid scrambling around every last minute to get in everything before you leave. Work smarter, not harder. Plan it out, and enjoy your trip!

3. Don't Let Your Phone Get In The Way Of Your Experience.

Photo By Mikail McVerry on Unsplash

Don't get me wrong, it isn't bad to give people a call or snap a photo every once in a while. That's normal. Take advantage of the fact that you will be on a drastically different time zone and unconnected yourself with things at home that shouldn't be of concern to you while you are away. Really immerse yourself in the other culture and observe things other than your phone.

4. Don't Get Your Panties In A Wad.

Photo By Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Above all else, stay positive and be patient. If you are traveling with a larger group, there will be hold-ups in the airport and hotels. Don't let this trivial matter ruin the rest of your trip. Remember that everyone else has to deal with it to, and complaining won't make it any better. Having a good mindset will be the deciding factor when it comes down to whether or not the trip was worth it all. At the end of the day, it is about you and your study abroad baby, so don't let anyone or anything else bring you down.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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