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Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Make the Most of Your Study Abroad Experience

The most important that you can do when you study abroad is do your best to make the most of your experience. If you're anything like me, then you'll feel incredibly lucky to be spending a summer or semester abroad and want to do everything that you can. I sometimes feel like I didn't take advantage of where I was enough when I was in Scotland, but I definitely did this past summer in New York City. Here are some of my tips for how to make the most of your experience!

Get outside of your comfort zone.
When you choose to study abroad, you have to accept that you're going to have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. For me, just going to St Andrews where I didn't know anyone was out of my comfort zone! I also tried to do things I might not have at home, like auditioning for a play and going to Catholic services with my friend.

Embrace the culture. 
Any new place you go has a unique culture. Even spending the summer in New York City, I had to get used to the culture of "the grind." I find that it's better to fully embrace the culture in every way you can, whether that means going out to the pub with your friends in the evening in the UK or doing your grocery shopping every other day instead of one big shop.

Try new foods!
I'm undeniably a foodie, so I absolutely adored trying new foods while I was abroad. Some of the things that I tried, like chips (or fries, if you're in the US) with curry sauce or new Indian foods, surprised me with how much I loved them. And even the things I hated (marmite, I'm looking at you), I'm so glad that I tried.

Travel as much as you can.
One thing I regret is that I didn't make more of an effort to travel while I was in Scotland because now I don't have that kind of opportunity. Even just going to the neighboring town of Dundee for a few hours when I wasn't busy was fun for me because it gave me the chance to see a different part of Scotland than I previously knew about.

In case you missed it, earlier this week I wrote a post on how to choose a study abroad program and posted a video about my experience studying abroad at the University of St Andrews. My friend Kendal also wrote a post on five study abroad must haves!

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