Our Guest Blogger is Daisha, one of our great tutors!
Studying abroad can be one of the most fun and enlightening experiences a student can have. For me personally I was introduced to new adventures, people, and cultures, and a whole new sense of independence, as I left home for the first time to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea for 10 months. It was a whole new and exciting step in my life, but there were some key things that I (like many other students and travelers), did not prepare myself for. Even after watching countless youtube videos.
1. Plan a budget!
This important piece of advice didn’t occur to me until I had already spent months abroad. It took a simple look to my bank account for me to know that if i continued spending as I was- I would need to go home earlier than planned! Having a monthly budget is important, it provides a limit to how much you spend, so that ultimately you don’t run out of money in a foreign country. Set up funds for how much money you plan to spend on food, shopping, school etc.- and as long as you don’t go over that budget, you will be fine. A budget was how I was able to stretch and make my money last for 10 months in South Korea, even after my mess up in the first few months.
2. Don’t pack too much
This is a classic problem that I fell victim to. As a shopaholic I ended up buying a lot of new clothes and random things while living in Seoul. And since I over-packed from the beginning, there really wasn’t any room for new items coming back. A lot of students and travelers learn the hard way, that they will either have to pay hefty amounts of money in shipping, or be forced to throw away some of their belongings when coming home. I fell victim to both of those things, and I still tear up a little when thinking about it. So be smart and pack sparingly on the way there.
3. Know the right language
This doesn’t mean that you have to be fluent in the language, but basic conversational skills are key! Before going on my study abroad trip, I took 2 formal years of Korean and my home university. I never expected people to be able to speak in English with me, and after moving to South Korea I was glad that I followed my gut instinct. When I wasn’t hanging with other foreign students, I was almost always speaking in Korean. Compared to some of my other foreign friends who had not even a basic understanding of Korean, I had a much smoother time living in the country and communicating with Korean people. It also helped me form deep connections, and friendships that honestly may not have been possible with that language barrier. So if possible take classes, and if formal education isn’t an option, then look into ways to start self teaching- google will become your best friend.
How this benefits you?
These three benefits can go along way when traveling abroad- especially when going for long periods of time. They can save a lot of time, and money, and it will ultimately make life abroad a lot less stressful than it could have been. And of course- in talking to tutors over at PEERS edu- they can give you better help on the discussions of these topics and ultimately help better your language skills so that you’ll be ready to go on your study abroad trip!
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