How preparing for Study Abroad Changed Me
By Josi Tiffany of 09/11/17
Study abroad has a lot more planning than you think.
I know exactly what you’re thinking, “Don’t you change AFTER you study abroad?” I thought the same thing. Yes, studying abroad will change you, but it will change you even when you’re preparing to go abroad. Here’s how it changed me.
I realized the value of Family & Friends
I made a lot of time to hangout with my family and friends. By doing this, I realized how important it is to spend time with those you love. This also shows who truly has you back. I mean this by, who actually wants to see you before you go to a different country. A few things you can do is have a going away dinner, and ask for tips on traveling. Your family members will tell you important traveling information, such as what to pack. They want you to be safe. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
This is a good habit to start! As I was planning out budgeting for trips, groceries, books, etc. This made me realize it is important to keep track of your money before hand. If you’re an organized person like me, then this is ideal for you. You can either do an excel spreadsheet, or use the app called Mint. This is best for managing your money. It syncs to your bank account, and then you can set categories for budgeting. Some examples are groceries, shopping, eating out, and more! You can make as many as you want.
Goodbye Comfort Zone
Try get out of your comfort zone before you study abroad. I promise it was one of the best things I did! I did this by doing something everyday that scared me. For example, I used to be a HUGE people pleaser. I would agree on certain topics such as gun control, even if I didn’t agree with what the person was saying. One day I was talking to my dad about a sensitive topic. I can’t remember what it was, but I finally said how I felt. It was really scary, but it felt so good to say how I feel at the same time. Now I have no problem speaking my opinion.
You’re probably even reading my story because you’re procrastinating on something. I’m not wrong am I? Study abroad has a lot more planning than you think. If you do something everyday to help you prepare to study abroad, you won’t be as stressed out. Some tips to help you stop procrastinating.
• Start with the hardest task. For me this was packing. Once I could see how much I could fit in my suitcase, I had a lot of time figuring out what I should and shouldn’t take.
• Break tasks into chunks. For examples this could be shopping. One day you can shop for school supplies, and the other you shop for clothes.
• Remove distractions. You can do this by shutting your phone off when you’re doing a task. Another thing you can do is delete social media apps for a day. There have been times where I spend an hour scrolling through social media without meaning to.
• Time each task. You think you have all day to do certain tasks, until something else distracts you. If you’re like me, I tend to get distracted easily when doing a task. Set a timer on your phone! This will help you get things done quickly and efficiently.
• Write to do lists. Write as many as you want. I wrote 3 or 4 separate to do lists before I left for study abroad. I wrote what to pack, what to buy before I leave, and what trips I wanted to go on. You don’t have to write a lot of lists. This helps organize things, and you won’t be as stressed looking at a long list.
Study abroad is a new exciting adventure. Even preparing to study abroad is an adventure of it’s own. I hope these tips help, and I wish you luck on your new adventure. You won’t regret it!