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5 Fun & Creative Ways to Prepare for Your Study Abroad Adventure

by Chelsea Opong-Wadeer
Map with travel items

During my last few days in the United States before heading off to my study abroad destination, I kept thinking about all the things I had to do before leaving. But something I realized that I really needed to do was to have some fun before starting my new adventure.

Here are 5 things you can do to get yourself excited and prepare to begin this new adventure that we are all ever-so fortunate to partake in.

1. Watch a movie that takes place in your abroad destination

For me, I watched The Lizzie Maguire Movie because I personally believe it’s a must-see for all of us who grew up dreaming of finding our Paolo like Lizzie did. Watching this movie not only made me excited to head off to Italy, but also gave me a sense of ease to know I’ll be able to make my own adventures.

Can’t find a movie that took place in your destination? No worries IMDb has got you covered.

2. Make a blog or buy a travel journal

I highly recommend doing one or both of these things. Making a blog is not only a great way to keep a log of your adventures, but it’s also for your family and friends to follow your journeys. I would suggest Weebly or Wordpress..

A travel journal is great because it brings back the days where people would actually write their thoughts down, especially since now-a-days we can just share our thoughts in 180 characters or less on social media. A travel journal is also personal so you don’t have to share it with the world. You can look back at your journal and reminisce on all the thoughts and feelings you had while exploring your destination.

Some travel journals have spaces for you to keep photos that you take and/or write down contact information of the people you meet. A great place to pick one up without throwing down a lot of money is Marshalls!

3. Create a few “Open When” Letters for those who mean the most

I had made about 24 letters for my boyfriend before leaving but you don’t have to make 24 letters. You can make just a few for either that special someone in your life, or for your best friend who secretly hates that you’re leaving them for x number of months but will never truly admit it to you.

Hand-written letters can be very thoughtful especially to the person receiving them, because it shows that you took time out to write about your relationship together.

If you need some ideas on different topics check out these ideas on Pinterest.

4. Visit one or two of your favorite places in your hometown

Whether this is a favorite restaurant where everyone in high school used to go after school or the place you would escape to when you just needed to be alone, Venture there. While you’re there think about the times you spent and about how far you’ve come to be heading overseas.

5. Say thank you to those who made it possible for you to study abroad

Whether it’s grandma and grandpa or your parents or parent, go and tell them thank you. Because regardless of them being a big or small reason why you’re going abroad they also have been there for you all your life and have made you into the person you are today. So get up and give them a big hug. If they aren’t the hugging type, high-fives work, too.

This post was contributed by Chelsea Opong-Wadeer, who is spending her Spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Florence, Italy.

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