It is completely normal to feel a mix of excited and anxious before studying abroad. There is so much to look forward to, but there are also a lot of unknowns. Whether you are nervous about traveling on your own, losing your passport, or adjusting to a new culture, there are things you can do prior to leaving to ease some of these worries.
1. Make copies of your passport and other important documents.
“Better safe than sorry” is the mantra associated with this tip. It isn’t super likely that you’ll lose your passport during your time abroad, but it is an easy way to relieve some stress if this is one of your worries. Keeping a copy with you and leaving one at home is advised in case anything does happen.
2. Learn some common phrases in the language of your host country.
Learning – or at least writing down – some commonly used phrases in your host country’s language can be helpful to communicate with people. It can benefit you by allowing you to ask questions, but can also be considered polite. Even if a lot of people speak English where you’re going, they might appreciate if you speak to them in their native language.
3. Measure and weigh luggage.
International flights have pretty strict limits on size and weight of luggage allowed. It is important to make sure that your luggage meets the limitations of the airline you’re taking. If you are worried about your luggage being over the limit, there are a lot of inexpensive luggage scales online.
4. Pack light.
It is very likely that you will find souvenirs to buy and bring home, so it is essential that you save a little room for items to be purchases abroad. Packing light will also make traveling from place to place easier and you will have less stuff to worry about losing. It’s an all-around win!
5. Stay focused on the positives.
Try not to get bogged down by the fears or concerns you might have. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that you will remember forever. There is so much to look forward to, so just focus on the incredible and life changing experience you are about to embark on!
This post was contributed by Chloe Richardson, who is studying abroad this summer with AIFS on our multi-country, traveling European Art and Architecture program.