December 6, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Here are 5 tips that will help you get the most out of your study abroad or work abroad experience.
It is important to know why you want to study or work in another country. The experience of living overseas is life-changing, but it can be difficult. You may feel lost or aimless at times. Before you take off on your adventure, consider what you want to get out of your international travel. Learn a language? Meet people? Get work experience? See a new culture? Studying abroad is an unparalleled experience, but travel with a purpose can be even more meaningful.
Always be honest when entering your details in the study abroad application form. This applies to all personal and professional details, from your age to your health to your academic qualifications and work experience. Fudging a health detail may not seem like such a big deal, but in an emergency, the program should have your updated and relevant health information. There may not be time to consult a family member! When you are so far away from home, the smallest detail can become super important.
Finding the right accommodation in foreign country before you arrive can be tricky. You are rightfully hesitant about booking long-term accommodation without being abroad! You do want to check out neighborhoods, apartment complexes and numerous other factors before you feel comfortable with the choice of accommodation. But you need to go somewhere from the airport. Hotels are an option but they can be expensive. The best thing to do is to arrange a temporary place to stay before you leave from home. Once you are abroad you are in a better position to find a more appropriate, long-term accommodation.
Living in a new city and country can be exciting with many new things to discover, but there will be times when you will feel completely isolated. You will yearn for home-cooked meals and family chatter. Remember: homesickness is only natural. You will go through highs and lows but the important thing is to resist the urge to pack it all up and go home. This is the time to dig deep and look for that inner strength that helped you make the decision in the first place. Toughing it out will make you a tougher person in the end. Be prepared to feel a little out of place! Stick it out!
You should get a bank account, even for a short trip overseas. You do not want to be carrying cash around with you everywhere in a strange country. Opening a bank account, applying for a credit or debit card and getting your financial affairs taken care of right at the beginning will give you the peace of mind to enjoy the rest of your experience. Don’t spend your time studying abroad worrying about your money!