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Debunking the Spookiest Parts of Studying Abroad

by AIFS Abroad
Paris Catacombs | AIFS Study Abroad

October is often considered the spookiest month of the year!

We asked some AIFS Alumni Ambassadors to share the things that “spooked” them or what made them feel scared to study abroad, and how they feel about those fears now.

“For me, the most ‘spooky’ part about going abroad was definitely not knowing anyone in the country, and living in someone else’s house in a homestay. It turns out I was nervous about nothing and my host family were the most genuine, real people who have so much love to give.” – Billy Mayer, AIFS in Viña del Mar, Chile

The Spookiest Parts of Studying Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad
Billy and his Chilean host family

“When I studied abroad I went abroad knowing nobody and I was scared that I wouldn’t make friends.” – Danielle Pantano, AIFS in London, England (Spoiler alert: she did!)

“I had never even been on an airplane before, let alone been out of the US. And by myself? There was no way I could do it.
Now I can’t wait to get back.” – Brittney Schrader, AIFS Study & Travel (Multi-Country) European Art and Architecture

I was scared about flying to a different continent by myself. I made sure to stay in contact with my resident director in Greece during my trip to make myself calmer.” – Kate Loomis, AIFS in Athens, Greece

The Spookiest Parts of Studying Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad
Kate: “The start of my trip abroad and traveling anxiety. At least the view was beautiful.”

“Before moving to London, I’d NEVER used public transportation in my life and it all seemed so confusing omg (which line to get on, east or westbound, which line to switch to, etc). 3 weeks in, I felt like a pro  4 weeks in, I was showing other people how to use it  – Peter Kivuva, AIFS in London, England

“I was scared that I would miss my family, friends and dogs a lot, but I was so busy making amazing memories and new friends, I didn’t have time to dwell on missing things.” – Greta Banks, AIFS in Barcelona, Spain

The Spookiest Parts of Studying Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad
Greta spending quality time with her new friends in Barcelona.

“I was scared that the language barrier would make it hard for me to talk to anyone while I was Spain because I don’t speak fluent Spanish, but after I went I figured out other ways to communicate to people (and that a lot of the local people were willing to help or even speak some English) if we couldn’t understand each other, and my conversational Spanish improved!” – Gina Baca, AIFS in Barcelona, Spain

“I was afraid that my Spanish was not good enough for me to be able to live in Spain, but after just a month of being there I learned more Spanish than I had during my entire formal education.” – Kaitlyn Emerson, AIFS in Salamanca, Spain

The Spookiest Parts of Studying Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad
Kaitlyn poses with her host mom and her granddaughter. “I learned a lot of my conversational Spanish from them.”

“I went to Rome and I am from a smaller city, so I was scared for getting lost and not asking for directions because of not being able to ask for directions. This was not a problem at all, especially because of the language course we had to take when we got there! I also was a little worried about pickpockets being in the city, but as long as you were smart and aware there was no issue. The last thing I was most nervous about was missing my family and friends, I kept myself busy and Facetimed with them all the time to make sure I didn’t miss anything (by the end of the program I didn’t want to go home to them ).” – Blair Budinski, AIFS in Rome, Italy

Still feel scared to study abroad? Don’t let your fear stop you from following your dream of going overseas. Get started by requesting an AIFS catalog or starting your application today!

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