Don’t make the mistake of overpacking. Take only essential things with you. Keep in mind that you will do some shopping while abroad. If you have packed too much, you will have to leave some things in order to bring back the fancy new things that you bought. And don’t forget to put an identifying mark on your suitcase such as a large sticker or ribbon; you don’t want to grab someone else’s luggage at the airport instead of yours!
Create a budget for yourself. Plan in advance how much you are going to spend on buying food. Find out which mean of transportation you are going to use to get to school (if you live far) and look for the ticket price. Put the money you are going to need aside. You don’t want to run out of money for transportation! See if you have any additional costs and save some money for that. Then see how much you have left for spending on other trivial things and be sure to include some room in your budget for eating out and sightseeing.
As a student abroad you would like to explore the nearby cities. Maybe you feel tempted to book all your excursions in advance, but that is not the smartest thing to do. Wait until you get there. It is not hard to book these things in the last minute. Keep in mind that if you travel every time that you are free you won’t have time to explore your host city. And remember that you cannot see everything. Make a list of the things you want to see and go for them.
Don’t make the most common mistake of drinking too much too often. Doing this can lead to a negative impact on your whole experience and can take up a lot of your budget. Why put yourself at risk for accidents or other trouble when you are abroad? You do want to remember your study abroad experience, right? You may be thinking that getting drunk is cool, but it is the worst thing you can do. Getting drunk is not cool at all especially in many parts of Europe where people drink very moderately but regularly (such as a glass of wine at lunch and another at dinner).
Friends & Acquaintances
Finally, hang with students from other countries, other cultures different from yours. Expand your horizons by forming long lasting friendships with people with various cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds. Meet the locals and try and practice the language.
I hope that this article will help you to avoid some essential study abroad mistakes and to have a rich and fulfilling experience abroad. It will change your life in a way you want it to be changed!
This post originally appeared on Linkedin.