Studying abroad is a great opportunity for you to broaden your horizons, explore a new culture and even make yourself more employable.
Our students tell us what a great time they have on their study abroad adventures. But if you're going to move to another country for a semester / year, it's important that you get everything you can out of the experience. Here are our top tips for making the most of your exchange.
It’s really important that you try and enjoy your study abroad experience and make the most out of it as you can. Before you know it, it’ll be over and you’ll wish that you were back in the destination you chose. Enjoy. Live in the moment. Relish in the culture.
Our top tips for before you leave the UK
Get the small things sorted (so you can focus on enjoying yourself when you get there)
When moving, there are lots of little logistical things that needs sorting. This is especially true of study abroad, as you up and move country (or even continent in some cases!) it's best to sort as much as you can before you leave the UK, so that you can maximise your time while you're on your exchange. Some of the things that need sorting may include:
- Unlocking your phone so that you can use it abroad
- Letting your bank know that you're going - you don't want your card getting declined once you're out there
- Buying power adapters so you can keep all your devices charged
- Making sure all your travel / insurance documents are in order, and that you have the ones you need in your hand luggage
If you have any questions or concerns about prepping for your exchange, get in touch with our Study Abroad team who will be more than happy to help. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do your research
Going to an entirely new city is super exciting, and you'll learn lots about your study abroad home just by being there, but it's good to know some basics before you go.
How do I get from the airport to my accommodation? What is the university like? What are the local attractions? What's the public transport like? And of course, where can I get a Sunday Roast?
Pack (for the weather)
Another crucial thing to research is... the weather! If you're going to Australia, you're probably going to need to pack different clothes compared to if you were going to Norway. Don't overpack, as you might want to buy things out there and bring them home with you, but at the same time don't forget to pack a home comfort or two.
Learn the language
Even if it's just a few words, knowing the language will help massively on your exchange. It'll allow you to immerse yourself into the local culture, and also looks great on your CV.
Duolingo is a great resource for self-teaching a new language, and our university also offer foreign language classes if you want to really get up to speed.
Join Facebook groups
A lot of universities have Facebook groups set up for new international students. Just like in your first year, these can be really helpful for calming any nerves you might have and getting to know some people before you arrive. Plus, you can stay up to date on all of the exciting welcome events you have to look forward to!
Our top tips for your time on your exchange
Make friends from all over the world
You will have a great opportunity to meet all kinds of people, from flatmates to course mates to fellow international students. Not only will your exploration be more fun with friends, things can often be cheaper if you're able to split them (ranging from frying pans to taxi's to days out). Plus, you'll get to learn about all sorts of different cultures and maybe end up with friends for life all over the globe.
Allow yourself to be immersed in a new culture. Keep an open mind and say yes to new experiences. Explore your new hometown, country, and if you're feeling adventurous, continent. Speak to people from different backgrounds, and as a result you might find yourself making great friends that you wouldn't have otherwise. Our students always say their exchanges fly by, so it's wise to make as many memories as you can whilst you're there, as they will last a lifetime!
don't forget to study
In amongst all the excitement, it's important to remember this isn't just a great opportunity to travel. It's also a great opportunity to help shape your future career!
- Gain a fresh and international perspective on the subject you love. This unique perspective could help you stand out to employers when applying for a job
- Enhance your adaptability and problem-solving skills by challenging yourself in a different academic environment, culture and lifestyle
- Broaden your skills
- Gain new experiences, new networking opportunities, and new outlooks which will enhance your existing skills and knowledge
- Give your CV an international edge. It demonstrates independence, resilience, adaptability, cultural awareness and ambition
- Increase your international job prospects. Not only will studying abroad help to increase your job prospects back at home, it will help you to find a job overseas – a terrific preparation for the global employment market
- Enhance those priceless cross-cultural communication skills
Most importantly... enjoy your trip and have fun!