Getting The Most Out Of Your Semester Abroad

Pack your bags and get ready for a wild ride because your life will never again be the same.

Going abroad isn't for everyone. Four months away from your friends, your family, your comfy bed and perfectly decorated room. Not to say your new room won't be just as welcoming, it just won't be think.

Arriving in a new country for the first time is nothing short of exciting. It can be overwhelming at times, being surrounded by new people who speak a foreign language or talk with an accent you don't hear every day. But nevertheless, it is a new beginning. A place to start over with people who don't know you, in an environment you've never experienced before.

Yes, it can be scary to zoom out on your location on the map and realize just how far you are from home. But I promise you, when it's time to leave this place, it will feel like leaving home all over again.

So enjoy every minute of it.

Make a list of your goals- things you want to do while you're there, places you want to see, the food you'd like to try. Kind of like your own personal bucket list of everything you've ever wanted to do in the part of the world you happen to be in. Check them off as you go and add more along the way.

Keep everything — boarding passes, concert tickets, drink coasters, beer labels, a coin from every currency you acquire, heck, keep everything you'd normally throw away. Put it all in a box and save it. That scrapbook will be your most prized possession one day.

Branch out — meet new people that aren't from your home university. Make friends with natives along the way, people who aren't from America. Keep in touch, become penpals, you'll be grateful for those connections.

Save your money — don't go on a shopping spree once a week, you can do that at home. Use that money for plane tickets, hotels and that over-priced, musical taxi bike that you had to take home after a long night of dancing. Spend your money on experiences, not things. Things are temporary, things get lost, memories last a lifetime.

Document everything. Don't get me wrong on this one, take in every experience, every feeling in the moment before putting your eye to a viewfinder. But that breathtaking sunset and the view from the peak of that mountain you just hiked, are visuals you are going to wish you could play on repeat for the rest of your life.

Lastly, you don't have a lot of time.

Don't waste a single day, and don't take any of it for granted. Stay up late and wake up early, you have a lot to do. The second you blink, you'll be packing your bags, vacuum sealing every last stack of clothes, standing in the airport holding those cute heels you bought, and dropping them into the trash because you're bag is 10 pounds overweight.

Going abroad is a privilege. No matter where you go, take advantage of it. You are one of the lucky ones. You get to have a glimpse at the world and come back to tell about it. Have the time of your life.

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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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