I’m a month deep on my study abroad journey, and it’s been nothing but a first-class flight experiencing lots of turbulence. International students live the dream. Weekend trips to Paris, gourmet pizza from Florence, and rides on the London Eye. Life doesn’t seem to get much better than a four-month holiday in Europe, right? Sometimes.
Personally, I’m a seven-hour flight from home. I won’t be able to see my dog or eat Chipotle for another three months! I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else in the world, but I must admit, there is a lot to adjust to. These four girls are currently in four different locations, living the dream day-by-day. Here is their advice on how to be successful while abroad.
“With everything going on in the world and on the news, I was nervous to travel so far from home for so long. I just couldn’t let anything stop me from doing something I’ve always wanted to do. Now that I’m here, I know I made the right decision. Be confident and brave, and you’ll do great!” – Elizabeth Westburg, 20, London
“Learn, learn, learn the language! A little bit of effort goes a long way with the locals. Getting to know the locals and picking a favorite café or study place will help make you feel at home. It was hard to transition to a new language and such a different culture, but after only a month I feel so much more comfortable in my surroundings. You will never stop learning when you go abroad.” – Molly Espinosa, 21, Florence
“There is so much more to learn from a conversation with a local than some big tourist attraction. It’s all about the people you meet. I will probably forget the restaurants I ate at and the stores I shopped in, but I’ll never forget the stories I’ve heard. Adjusting to living on a ship was pretty easy—I get seasick more than I get homesick. As long as you have an open heart and an open mind, you will be more than okay.” – Rachel Ledbetter, 20, Semester at Sea
“It’s like being a freshman all over again. You have to know that everyone else is nervous. I don’t usually get homesick, but when I do, I FaceTime my mom. It’s also really cool if you have other friends studying abroad because you can visit wherever they are, and they can also visit you. In the end, I told myself that homesickness wasn’t something worth bringing this experience down.” – Nicole Eklund, 20, Dublin
Did you experience homesickness when traveling abroad? Share your tips to overcome this in the comments below!
Featured photo by Lex Kelly.