How to Get the Most Out of Studying Abroad
Written by Sam June 22, 2017
Here is some advice for ensuring you get the most out of your experience:
- Say yes to going somewhere you never thought you would. Germany was not on my radar to visit while studying abroad this summer. The group of friends I made and had been traveling with wanted to go this past weekend so I decided to go with them. It ended up being my favorite weekend trip. The food was amazing, and we visited a lot of historical sights. I learned a lot about German history and culture, which is why it turned into my favorite weekend.
- Try things outside your comfort zone in the places you visit. My cousin (yes, my cousin and I studied abroad together at CIMBA) let me talk her into going canyoning in Switzerland, and it is one of her highlights of being abroad. It is basically going down the canyon by sliding, jumping, or repelling down certain drops. Our parents couldn’t believe she did it when we sent the video back to them. There are so many opportunities to grow abroad, but they can only change you if you take advantage of them and let them.
- Make friends with people you didn’t come with. I am the only student from my university this semester but I am going home with new friends from WVU, Kansas State, Kansas University, the University of Iowa, etc. I have met so many new people and am excited to keep in touch with them. Meeting other students from all over the U.S. has taught me new things about American culture, even in Italy.
- The professors love Italy and love that we travel and are having a great time exploring Europe but also love when students are engaged in class and do their homework. Depending on your classes, they may teach about something you are going to visit. For example, last week before I went to Germany we learned a lot about Germany post WW2 in Economics. While visiting Germany, a lot of tours referenced what had happened, and the base knowledge I had helped so much to get more out of the tours we went on.