So you’re thinking about studying abroad? You may think it’s too soon to start planning but…...it’s never too early to start planning! (too cliché? Yeah, sorry bout that, guys). Whether you’re looking into spring, summer, semester, or any other type of study abroad, it can be beneficial and exciting to start prepping for your riveting excursion!
Ask your office of education abroad and professors about study-abroad opportunities that is best for you! I really recommend visiting your school’s office of education abroad, they can give you the low-down on all things scholarships, financial aid, and the ins and outs of the different programs. It sets your mind so much at ease if you talk out the plan with someone who knows the ins and outs of the program you’re interested in.
If you don’t have this little thing, you’re not going anywhere this summer. Get it now! It’s pretty cool to have. I always wanted a passport so I got it a little early just because I so wanted to finally have my passport.
Look into Scholarships
Your school most likely has campus scholarships that are easy to find and apply for. Don’t be afraid by National Scholarships! There are so many and they’re easy to find!
Start researching where you’re headed. Cool places to check out. Local fashion. Customs or culture things that may be different. Research safety issues, too. Flirting in America might not be a big deal, but it may come across stronger and send a different message somewhere else. Of course, be yourself! But it is a good idea to be aware of things too.
If you have time for your own excursions while abroad, start looking into places where you’ll be staying. Maybe there’s a public pool just a mile away from your apartment that you wouldn’t have known about unless you had Googled: “super cool stuff to do in _[town name]_”
Look into bigger trips you’d like to take as well, like to major cities or sites. Try to plan where you want to stay and think about the transportation situation that will work best on your budget, logistics, and such. Learn how to be a good and curious traveler!
Start learning the language—now!
There are tons of resources, such as Duolingo, or even classes at your college. Maybe if you’re not studying a language in college right now you can take an intro course in the language of the country to which you will be studying in order to get a head-start!
Find some Youtubers who live in the country you’re traveling to. You can often learn some language and culture things about where you’re headed. Follow some Instagrammers from the country you’re headed to! This may seem like a really millennial idea, but it’s actually helpful. The picture helps inform you of what the caption says so it makes it easier to try to figure out what is being said. Plus, it’s fun!
Financial issues are the main reasons students find it unable to study-abroad. But don’t let this incredible experience pass you by just because of this!
If you don’t already have a job, start applying for some. It’s a little hard to save money you don’t have.
Open a saving’s account. Yes, the interest is pretty bad, but you do receive some amount of interest on the money you put in it, AND it’s a separate place to put your paycheck besides your checking account so you aren’t as tempted to spend it.
Skirt the Christmas/Birthday/Holiday gifts. Instead of asking for gifts when your grandparents ask you what you want, ask for some money instead. Or even a good suitcase, new backpack, good tennis shoes, things you’ll need for your trip.
Get in contact with other students interested in studying abroad, too! Maybe there’s an International Student Organization at your school you can get involved in or another study abroad club you can look into! It’s fun to connect and share ideas and hear experiences to get you excited about your trip!
Hope this inspired and helped some of you! I wish you the best of luck!
What’s a country you’ve always wanted to go to? Leave a comment below!