Study Abroad 101: Final Thoughts Before Going Abroad

Written by Adam September 12, 2016

Big Ben

Convert money

Loop travel adapter and power bank

Buongiorno! (That pretty much exhausts my Italian.)

My name is Adam and I’m ecstatic about studying abroad in Italy! It’s always been an appealing country to me (and my stomach). The culture, history, scenery, etc. are just some of the things that I’m excited to explore. I’ve heard great things about the entire CIMBA program, and the LIFE and LEAP courses really helped me make my decision to go with this program.

I’m a senior at Western Michigan University and a lot of people have asked, “Well aren’t you going to miss football season?” C’mon – there’ll be football when I get back. The chance to go study halfway across the world while I still have minimal responsibilities won’t be around for much longer.

So since you now know so much about me, I’ll be honest with a couple of things I am nervous about:

I may sound like a typical millennial when I say this, but I am genuinely worried about some sort of cell phone plan. My life, like many others, is on my phone and is an irreplaceable tool. Also, if I don’t find a way for my mom to call me, I may as well not even come home. I know this is an issue to a lot of students, so I’ll make sure to keep you updated.

Another big thing is FOMO (fear of missing out). While trying to balance classes and exploring, I am pretty nervous that I won’t get to do some of the things I want to do, and the things I didn’t even realize were possible ’til opportunity has passed. Go on a weekend trip to Rome or sit and study finance? Finding balance in studying and exploring, while staying relaxed may be kind of tough, thankfully I have past bloggers to help me get ready.

Now that we got my anxiety out of the way, I’ll tell you a couple quick pre-departure tips that I believe are essential before going anywhere out of the country:

1. Learn some of the language. I used Duolingo and it taught me a ton of the basics and fundamentals. You don’t want to be that typical American that thinks everyone should know English – show some respect for the culture. 
2. Travel converters. I got one by a company named LOOP that sells on Amazon. It’s not only a converter, but a power bank too so you can charge your stuff while it’s not even plugged in.
3. Convert money BEFORE going. I’d much rather convert with someone who speaks english, and before I’m trying to get my mind around being on a whole ‘nother continent. 
4. Live in the moment. Yes, I do have FOMO like many others, but just take some deep breaths and go with the flow.

I wish I could be more informative to help future study abroad-ers out, but hey – this is a post before I even get to the airport. I can only tell you my thoughts and some quick tips, and hopefully make a good first impression on you guys. Time to hopefully not pay overweight baggage fees and travel the world!