7 Key Ways To Make The Most Of Your Study Abroad Experience Outside The Classroom

Study abroad will be the best part of your college experience if you give it a chance. College itself is a time for new growth, opportunities, and experiences. It's your first true taste of independence, so it's a really special period of your life. When you choose to study abroad, you're making a conscious decision to step into the unknown and challenge yourself even more. You'll live in a completely different environment, learn to speak another language, and bond with people halfway across the world. If that's not enough, here are some ways to make the most of your study abroad experience beyond the classroom.

Once you study abroad, you'll discover that there's so much learning to be done outside of a traditional classroom setting. Studying abroad will allow you to really get up close and personal with the people and places you read about in textbooks. This will awaken your senses and broaden your horizons in ways that you could never imagine. When you study abroad, you'll have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a new culture and challenge yourself in unconventional ways. Study abroad will reveal to you that the best kinds of lessons are learned outside of the classroom, so don't miss out!

Create A Study Abroad Bucket List
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Your study abroad experience will fly by, so it's important to be intentional about the time you have. In the beginning, it will feel like you've got plenty of time to do it all. However, time will pass by quicker than you even realize, so be sure to soak up every moment. Create a study abroad bucket list to be intentional about experiencing and accomplishing everything that you dream of.

Stay With A Host Family

It may be tempting to get a private apartment with a few girlfriends, but you'll experience complete cultural immersion when you stay with a host family. You'll likely have to adjust to a different way of living, but you'll learn so much more about yourself and the country that you're visiting. You'll get a firsthand look at how locals live their lives on a daily basis, and that kind of exposure is priceless.

Learn The Local Language

Study abroad is the perfect time for you to truly master your language skills. You'll find yourself practicing in grocery stores, cab rides, and having conversations with locals. You might even be fluent after staying with a host family, listening to local tunes, and going to the movies.

Get Involved In An Intramural Sport
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There is much learning to be done outside of the classroom, so get involved. Take up a hobby, join an intramural class, apply for an internship, or volunteer with an organization. This will give you the chance to build a solid community and make the most of every minute you have. You'll leave with endless memories and life-long friendships.

Leave Room For Mistakes
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It's inevitable that you'll experience some hurdles, and that's totally OK. You and your girls may get lost, or you'll leave something behind at least once when you're traveling. Don't let the mistakes or hurdles get you down. Every mistake is a lesson learned, and you'll emerge as a stronger, more confident person.

Keep An Open Mind
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It's important to embrace the lifestyle differences between life back home and your host country. Instead of comparing, you should do your best to learn as much about your host country as you can. You'll witness and experience things for the first time, which will broaden your horizons.

Everything will feel totally new to you in the beginning, but this is such a gift. Try the foods, explore new neighborhoods, and start conversations with the locals. You never know where this may lead.

Say "Yes"
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This is honestly the experience of a lifetime, so live your best life! Say "yes" to any and every opportunity that comes your way and intrigues you. If you're invited to lunch, dinner, or a weekend adventure, then say yes. Take advantage of the chance to try new things, meet new people, and step outside of your comfort zone. You'll look back and thank yourself that you accepted every invitation to enjoy life.