Going abroad has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life and has left me with memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s traveling with friends or interacting with people from other cultures, there’s no shortage of memorable moments from my experience abroad. That being said, there are several things that I wish I had known prior to leaving for Spain which I believe would have made the experience abroad even better. So I’m going to provide you with some of the things that I wish I had known before I went abroad.
- Save Money Before
It may seem like the obvious thing to do but I cannot stress enough the importance of saving up money before you go abroad. Everything costs money in Europe, whether it’s going to the bathroom or water at dinner, they will charge you for everything they can. Traveling has also become significantly more expensive as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and flights will normally cost you around 200 euros round trip. Add on to this the price of a hostel/AirBnb, souvenirs and meals, the price can quickly balloon. So try to be smart with spending and save up as much as you can before you leave for abroad.
- Plan Ahead
This goes hand-in-hand with the save money piece of advice. If you know you want to go somewhere or see something make sure you plan it
out ahead of time. Doing this accomplishes two things. First, it can help you save money by booking flights/hostels instead of waiting until the last minute and having the price increase. For example, my friends and I went to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day and we had booked our hotel all the way back in December giving us a place to stay for a cheaper price than my friends who booked last minute. Second, it helps you create an idea of what you will be doing and will let you plan your schoolwork around your already set schedule. Knowing you are going somewhere the week a paper is due means that you can finish your work before you leave
- Meet Your Peers Before
I was lucky enough to be living with some of my close friends, but most students decide to choose random roommates while abroad. So try to meet with people who are studying abroad in the same location as you and get to know them. While it may be awkward at first, it’s always better to know who you are living with than to arrive in a foreign country and meet them for the first time. So make sure that you are reaching out to others and try to build relationships that will transfer with you abroad.
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