So, you’re studying abroad?

This was every question asked by every person that knew me before I went away to America in early January. By the time NYE came, I had perfected a great answer to this question. I would say, “Yes… and I’m planning on staying there”.

Of course I was joking, and to be honest with you, I was getting super anxious about the whole prospect of living in another country for 6 months.

The sending off party (me in the Levi’s shirt)

Rolling back to December 2018 as I was finishing off my last week at university here, I remember distinctly my lecturer saying to me “You’ll have one of the most unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences studying abroad”. With this in mind, I started thinking with a ‘glass half-full’ attitude about studying abroad and this really helped me to create a positive mindset about the whole prospect of being wholly independent and responsible.

If you’re reading this and are planning to go studying abroad in the next couple of weeks or months, then there is one crucial piece of advice I would give to you:

Keep a level head

With family members asking you so many questions, your parents getting worked up and frantically trying to pack things for you, your friends urging for you to go out with them for just “one last drink”… just keep level-headed so that when the day comes to leave, you’re not all stressed or too emotional (although you will be sad of course).

As well as to keep a level head, plan ahead. Make sure you have all your immigration papers and ensure your passport is up-to-date- do all this at least a month before departure. Have a rough idea of what you have to do when you arrive i.e. get bedding (see a later post), get a public transport pass etc. And finally, know what you plan to take so that packing doesn’t become a burden!

So by now, you’re probably rethinking about the whole idea of studying abroad- but don’t! I’m guaranteed you’ll have a great time studying in another country and making life-long friends. I wish I was in your shoes and I would do the whole exchange again 100%.

Good luck planning and spending the last few weeks with friends and family and before you go, check out my next post on what to pack and what not to pack!

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