Travelling to your new university

So, you’ve flown halfway across the world (or a couple hundred miles south over the English Channel if you’re studying abroad in France), and you feel lost already. You don’t know what to do next, you’re starving and so, so ready for bed. Keep calm and read on.

I arrived at Tampa International at 1am on a Sunday night and as you can see, no people or cars- I felt extremely homesick already

The flight over may have been a roller coaster ride of emotions. It was for me. I felt sad leaving family and friends. But excited knowing I’m on my way to a new life for a couple of months. Yet nervous not knowing how those months will pan out. So you arrive at your destination probably exhausted and hungry. Therefore, before you depart back at home, make sure you know how to get from the airport to wherever you’re staying, whether that be student accommodation or a house. In my case, it was the simple transfer of an Uber which can in fact be booked at home before you leave and will save you waiting around for a long time.

Pro tip- book your transfer once you’ve passed security and know the estimated time the flight will land at your destination in order to prevent Uber waiting fees.

In addition to transfers, have all the necessary paperwork needed to check-in at your accommodation right at hand and safe. Ideally in an easily accessible compartment of your backpack or in your suitcase.

Before you depart and during the flight, make sure you eat well. I arrived in Florida dead at night, so there were only a handful of places to eat and to be honest, after eating plane food, McDonald’s or Burger King is the last kind of food you’d want to be eating. If you’re landing during the day, read my other blog in combatting jet lag.

Pro tip- DON’T GO TO BED STRAIGHT AWAY!!

Once you have arrived at your accommodation, make sure you know where you need to check-in. It may not always be obvious and it took me almost half an hour to find where I needed to check-in, bearing in mind I was lugging around two massive suitcases and a very heavy backpack (for boys, check out my other blog on what to pack).

Once you’ve checked in, you may be fortunate enough to have bedding already provided. I was not as fortunate. So with no shops open and my eyes barely opening, I had to make do and sleep without a pillow and duvet…

But this is the experience. The mistakes you might make at the start will only be the beginning of the learning curve you’re about to embark on for the next few months or year. So if you’re feeling homesick or cold or empty like I did, just remember that the next day is a new day in a new country with a new door waiting to be open.

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