Alumni Ambassador Rachel has been sharing some of her post-study abroad advice with us this year. January may be long over, but that means it’s time to check out how you’re doing on your New Year’s Resolutions! Since you can’t walk the cobblestone streets of Rome every day or gallivant around the Austrian countryside on the weekends, here are some practical ways to keep your study abroad experience a part of your every day life:
Since I have been home for a year, I look back on my study abroad experience and realize how much I’ve settled into my American life again. Since studying abroad was the greatest experience of my life, I created some New Year’s Resolutions that I think will resonate with all study abroad alumni.
While it’s easy to crack open a jar of Prego, nothing beats the taste of homemade sauce over fresh pasta. You remember the way your taste buds burst every day with your host country’s food. Bring back that experience with your own homemade meals.
2. Stop Living With More Than You Need
One of the biggest things I learned about my behavior while abroad is that I live with way more than I need. I discovered I can live four months with just a suitcase and a carryon. When I came home, I looked at my closet differently. So, this year, get rid of the things you don’t need. Donate them. Sell them. There are people who need them more than you do.
Admit it: you never expected to learn as much of the language as you did. Just using it everyday in every situation forced you to learn and practice. Now that you’re home, you are noticing those skills slowly disappearing. Look through your old notes. Get a language learning software or app. Speaking another language will take you so far in life, and it gives you an excuse to return to your study abroad country one day.
4. Save Your Money
Now that you’ve experienced that sweet taste of adventure, you’re itching to go back. Who wouldn’t?! The only way your dreams of returning to your second home will become a reality is by being smart with money. The sooner you start saving, the sooner you can return!
AKA keep being awesome. You know you returned home a completely different person than when you left. You’re more confident, adventurous, and outgoing. You’ve seen the world, conquered your fears, and learned to thrive in a country so different from your own. Continue being awesome and challenging yourself every day. There’s no reason your adventure needs to end when you step off the plane in America.