8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Studied Abroad

By Meghan Stark, Abroad Alumna: Spring 2017 University College Dublin

  1. Get ready for some new tastes

As a pretty picky eater, I figured going abroad was going to be tough on my limited palate, but once I opened up to the local tastes I realized I could find some super tasty things! I felt closer to my new home when I could appreciate the local cuisine.

  1. Be a penny pincher

You already know that living in another country is going to come with some added expenses, but it’s important to remember that if you’re studying abroad you can’t get a job for some extra cash on the side. So save extra for those “what if” moments.

  1. Be vigilant

Being cautious should be an everywhere rule, but it’s especially important while abroad. Your passport and credit cards are your lifeline because you’re oceans away from your home bank! Carry your credit cards close to your body in an over the shoulder bag. Keep your passport locked in your room unless traveling, and make a copy of it to carry with you during your day-to-day travels.

  1. Research!

I wish I researched the city I was living/studying in more extensively rather than the cities I was just visiting for a few days.

  1. Interact with the locals

They’re your new neighbors! I wish I knew how enriching it was to get to know the people in my new home.

  1. Keep a journal or a blog

I wish I had kept some type of log of my journey from the beginning. It was so special to look back on the way other students decided to commemorate their abroad experience and I wish I had done the same!

  1. Public transit RULES

Research your city’s options for public transport! I wish I knew how easy getting around town in a foreign place could be.

  1. Get out and explore!

You’re living in an incredible international city – get to know that city! Then get to know the country you’re living in – explore places off the beaten track. And then visit the surrounding countries! Before I went abroad, I wish I knew how rewarding international travel could be. You’re on your own in a brand new country, and you learn so much about yourself. Have fun!