Studying Abroad – Making the Most Out of Your Time

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,514
    Travis Stalcup with IES Abroad provides tips for how you can make the most of your time studying abroad.

    Travis Stalcup: Hi! I'm Travis Stalcup with IES Abroad. Today I'm talking about, how to prepare for a semester abroad and now I'm going to talk about how you can make the most of your time abroad.

    While much of your attention will focus on the logistics of your study-abroad experience, it is equally important to identify your larger goals and objectives. Your decision to study abroad marks your commitment to try something new.

    This experience actually begins before you leave home, intensifies while you are abroad and will continue long after you return. To make the most of your time abroad, you should determine what you want to accomplish and set goals before you go.

    Write down your goals in a journal or on a blog. Writing them down will help you prepare for your departure and help you maintain the focus while you are abroad as you can refer back to them as you learn and experience more.

    One goal we'll likely include engaging with the local culture. By making an effort to meet new people and explore new places, your rewards will be abundant. There are 5 great ways for students studying abroad to integrate into the local culture.

    Number one, join a student-organization, choir or sports team, number 2, volunteer with a local organization, number 3, spend time in places where locals go, number 4, take courses at a local university and number 5, strike up a conversation with local residents.

    For everything that you should do when studying abroad, there are things you should not do as well. To make the most of your time abroad consider these 5 tips on what to avoid while studying abroad.

    Number 1, don't spend all your time with your American friends. Number 2, don't wait too long to get involved in the local culture. Number 3; don't spend all your time away from your host city. Number 4, don't be afraid to ask questions and number 5 don't lose sight of your goals.

    As you face new challenges and have new experiences, revisit your goals to see your progress and to measure your personal growth. Spending a semester abroad is a big undertaking and I hope I've offered you some ideas on how to make the most of your time abroad.