Studying abroad is an epic adventure that can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s a chance to learn about new cultures, meet new friends, and gain valuable academic experience in a totally different setting. But let’s be real, navigating the study abroad journey can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. It’s also important to know how to stay productive while waiting to study abroad.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned traveler, there are a few things to keep in mind when going global. Here are some essential tips and tricks to help in your study abroad journey.

  1. Picking the perfect program
  2. Preparing for the journey
  3. Embracing the experience

Remember, to make the most of your journey, it’s important to approach it with an open mind. It’s all about learning, growing, and having fun while you’re at it! From planning and preparation to stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing new experiences. These pointers can help you maximize your study abroad experience.

Happy black man holding stack of international flags and backpack, smiling, standing over blue background.
Credit: Prostock-Studio. April 14, 2023, from Unsplash

Picking the perfect program

Choosing the right program to study abroad can be a game changer! But with so many options out there it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to do your research and weigh your options. 

First things first, consider your academic and personal goals. Whatever your goals may be, there’s a program that best suits you. But its not just about academics- location, cost, and duration are important factors to consider too. Some programs may be pricier than others, so important to figure out what you can afford. You can also look into scholarships and grants that can help offset the cost of your program.

And of course, duration is important. Some program may require a longer time commitment than others, so it’s important to think about how long you can realistically be away from home. The good news is, there are plenty of programs out there that can tick all of your boxes! Just remember to keep an open mind and be flexible, because sometimes the best experiences can come from unexpected places.

Young afro-American student is writing in the library. More students are sitting behind her.
Credit: Vladimir Vladimirov. January 17, 2022, from iStock

Preparing for the journey

You’ve found your dream program and you’re ready to take on the adventure of a lifetime! But, before you start packing your bags you need to make sure that you have all the necessary documentation, required by the embassy of the country you’ll be visiting. Once you’ve got all your documents sorted, it’s time to do some research on the culture and customs of your host country. This would help you appreciate the differences and avoid any misunderstandings. For example, did you know that in some countries, it’s considered rude to show the soles of your feet? Or that in some cultures, it’s customary to bring a small gift when you’re invited to someone’s home? Knowing these little things can go a long way in helping you make a good impression and build relationships with the people you’ll be interacting with.

Finally, you need to pack appropriately for your trip. Consider the weather and any dress codes you’ll need to follow. For example, if you’re going to a hot and humid country, you might want to pack a lightweight and breathable clothing. And if you’re going to a country with a conservative dress code you’ll need to pack clothes that cover your shoulders and knees. Trust me, you don’t want to be caught off guard and have to scramble to find appropriate clothing once you arrive.

Just remember, getting your documents in order, researching the customs, and packing appropriately will make your transition easier, and also help you enjoy your study abroad adventure.

Travel concept background. Luggage at airport.
Credit: Llija Erceg. January 20, 2022, from iStock

Embracing the experience

Studying abroad can be an adventure of a lifetime! Imagine immersing yourself in a new culture, meeting new people, and learning new skills. It’s an opportunity to broaden your horizons and gain a fresh perspective on life.

To make the most of your study abroad journey it’s important to embrace the local culture. For example, you could try the Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s pie, Beef Wellington, etc , a delicious local dishes that’s a staple UK cuisine. Or you could attend the traditional Welcome to Country, and Bora ceremony, where you’ll witness the beautiful   traditions of the Australian people. Try the cuisine’s available in your host country, you will be surprised to find that even the same food you eat at home can taste different in a new place.

Don’t just eat and sleep, you also need to explore the country. Find out about the interesting places and events happening in your host city exploring your host country is a great way to learn more about the local culture. In UK, for example, as a foreigner you could visit the British Museum, which is a home to an extensive collection of artifacts from around the world.

But while you’re enjoying your study abroad experience, don’t forget to stay connected with your loved ones back home. Share your experiences with them and keep them in the loop. They’ll be thrilled to hear your adventures and you’ll feel more connected to home while still embracing your new life. Just make sure you don’t try to act like a foreigner! Some people might feel like they can’t relate to their local culture anymore, but let me tell you the truth, nobody will rate you higher than your own people. Embrace your roots and make sure you represent them well. When you arrive in your new country, try to learn the local language and make friends with the locals. You might even teach them some of your own slang to make the conversation more enjoyable


Oluchi Ugoma

Ugoma Oluchi is a Communications Strategist with over two years experience and is actively engaged in digital media and brand management. She is passionate about advancing brand messaging and promoting effective communication strategies. Oluchi is also a creative writer who uses her words as a private sanctuary for unrestricted self-expression. She endeavors to utilize her writing as a thoughtful decision-making tool and draws inspiration from diverse sources to infuse her work with poetry. Beyond her professional pursuits, she derives pleasure from immersing herself in diverse cultures, engaging with the arts, and delving into literature.

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