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Tips for students studying abroad.

Study abroad programs can change students' lives, opening their eyes to other cultures and helping them to make memories that last a lifetime. Study abroad programs also may inspire a love of travel that students will foster for the rest of their lives.

Students who have enrolled in or are considering enrolling in study abroad programs can make their experiences overseas more memorable if they take some time to prepare for life abroad before boarding the plane.

Learn about your host country: Students who can successfully assimilate into their host countries will get more from their time overseas than those who do not. Studying the customs and history is a great way to learn about life there before your plane touches down. If the native language in your host country is different from your own, do your best to learn the language. While you won't become fluent overnight, learning some basic words and phrases can make your time overseas go more smoothly and increase the chances that you develop meaningful relationships with locals.

Enthusiastically leave your comfort zone: Daily life might be vastly different in your host country than it is at home. Rather than dwelling on the differences, embrace this chance to leave your comfort zone. Approach cultural differences with enthusiasm instead of skepticism, even trying local cuisine you might otherwise not experience back home.

Get out of the dorm: Obviously, students aren't there for a party and there's a lot of studying to do. But during your down time, embrace the chances to look around. If your host country is in Europe, where traveling between countries tends to be simpler than in other regions of the world, learn about neighboring countries and do your best to visit some during your time overseas.

Disconnect from your devices: Whether or not life at home is dominated by devices, use your time overseas to disconnect so you can fully experience your host city and country. Don't miss out on the sights and sounds of your host country by spending too much time using your tablet or smartphone.

Keep a journal: One of the best ways to commemorate your time abroad is to keep a daily journal. You will no doubt enjoy many unique experiences while overseas, and keeping a daily journal is a great way to ensure you remember each of those experiences and all the people you meet along the way. Your older self will thank you.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Aug 2, 2019
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