We asked our followers: ”If you could give future study abroad students only ONE piece of advice, what would it be?”. Here are our favorite answers!
“Speak the target language! Make mistakes and laugh at them. Ask a local where the best restaurant is. Ask how to find the beach. Ask the same question to every third native speaker you meet. Every time you ask, you will learn. Even if you know the answer, ask, listen, and try your best to say something back. Every time you do, you can a little bit.” -Julie Teague
“Just let go and let things happen to you. There will be uncomfortable situations if you do, and I promise you’ll be laughing about them after you return home for many years to come. The more relaxed you are about what is to come, the more you will absorb language and culture and be likely to try out the language and live the culture (not just visit it).” -BrianMcDonough
“Be open to trying new food. One of the best ways to connect with a culture is through their food; there has been many a dish that I was all like “I don’t know ’bout that” when I first saw it but, after eating them, those dishes became some of my favorite foods.” -John Foster
“Don’t waste your time on things you could be doing at home — look for something new to do. For example: go on an adventure, experience the true culture of wherever you may be, try going a few days without the Internet, talk to the natives around you and learn a little bit of their slang that you might not get in the classroom. Basically, just look for something that will interest you and make you proud once you have experienced it.” -Abby Dornoff
“Stay present and keep an open mind! Your time abroad will be short and go by quickly, so find a way to document your adventures (travel blog or journal, etc.) and take advantage of every opportunity to interact with the local culture and people.” -Carrie Straub
“Pack light. Seriously.” -@baristabird