It is a wonderful experience to study abroad in high school. This incredible opportunity offers a chance to study away from the classroom, to meet new people, and to embrace new ideas. However, you have to avoid some bad habits when looking forward to having a blast. Understanding and avoiding this is the trick to have an experience of a lifetime.
Wrong choice of program
There are various study abroad programs in various cities across the globe. Take time or seek guidance to select a program that matches your goals and motivations. Perhaps you are interested in working abroad, volunteering, or studying university abroad. There is always a program for you. Do your homework online, get assistance from teachers, or use study abroad directories. This allows getting information to make you make informed decisions.
The rule of thumb is to always have a budget for your study abroad expenses. This should match your various needs including food, groceries, travel, insurance, and souvenirs. Never ignore to do an online search of the exchange rate and costs of living in your host country before boarding the plane. Understanding this allows budgeting properly and packing. Find out whether local stores accept credit cards or your currency. Additionally, never ignore to ask your ban for any extra withdrawal charges abroad.
It is wrong to expect too much during the program to avoid disappointment. When planning to live with a host family, understanding that it is a new place with new people. Keep in mind that food and bad days do happen. Be ready to make independent decisions to manage tough times. This is very important since living in a new place is not fun all the time. For your high school summer abroad experience, have realistic expectations regarding cultural and local language immersion. Grasping a new culture and language does come in a few days but takes time and effort.
Not keeping essential documents in order
To avoid stressing and time-consuming mishaps, have all your important travel documents in order. Have your passport in your backpack and check that it is not expired. Get the appropriate visa and confirmation for the program. Never ignore to get travel insurance with the address and phone numbers of your host family. Move with copies of your medical prescriptions and family contact information. Keep copies of all your important documents in your email just in case.
Not focusing on your studies
There is usually a lot to discover abroad with a chance of getting overwhelmed making you lose focus of your studies. It is important to balance time for studies and social life. Ignoring this puts you at risk of failing classes. This is a waste of money and losing considerable time for improving your GPA. Attending classes abroad allows meeting new people and making new friends.
Carrying too much luggage
The most common bad habit for students on a study abroad program is overpacking . Smart travelers pack light. The rule of thumb is to carry items that you can comfortably carry. Moving with very many bags makes you a target for thieves and wastes too much time at immigration offices. Move with a backpack carrying the basics for your experience.
Ignoring to learn phrases in the local language
Assuming that everyone you are likely to meet can speak English. In a foreign country, most local people prefer communicating in their own language. There is a chance of meeting other travelers and people speaking English but knowledge of some phrases in the local language is helpful. Google some phrases or carry a pocket dictionary. The local people will be delighted to hear you speak their language. The locals will become friendlier and will give you all the necessary assistance.
Risking your health
Failure to protect your health abroad is a bad habit. The experience abroad makes your body vulnerable to a new schedule, time zone, and foreign foods. Regardless of the excitement have enough sleep and eat healthy food. Avoid the temptation to eat everything that comes your way. You might end up with food poisoning or stomach upset. Drink enough water regularly and exercise regularly. Walk to the nearest attractions to stay in shape. Taking care of your health is very important to stay productive throughout the experience abroad.
Not playing it safe
Life in a new environment is obviously different to that you are used to. So, take appropriate steps to ensure your safety abroad. Avoid going out late at night alone and follow advice from the host family. Additionally, never go to new places alone. Go with a friend or in a group with other foreign exchange students.
Study abroad is a wonderful experience that offers an out of class learning experience. It allows discovering the world in a new perspective while immersing yourself in a new culture and language.