In America, going abroad to study is fairly common. It is highly encouraged to go overseas because you will learn pretty quickly that there are other ways to live than your own and you might find that you like them better than the way that you live. You can expand your mind, your worldview, and just become a better person by going overseas. Foreign study is not common before college, but junior year is typically when students get the chance to spend one semester or even two overseas. A lot of students like to take advantage of the time in different ways. Here are a few commandments about foreign study that you should be sure to follow.
If you are going across the world to study, take advantage of the time to go around. One of the things that many students love about going to Europe for their abroad experience is that the visa qualifies for anything in the European Union and it is very cheap to hop on a train that takes you to one of the other great countries. You should take the time to explore your home base as well, but make sure that you hit up some of the other major cities. You are not travelling just to study, you are travelling to see the world.
Respect the Culture
When you are an American in a country other than America, remember that this is not your home. Do not go around creating an international incident just because you have a bit too much fun. Learn a little about the culture and bring it home with you. That is part of the fun. You are as much an ambassador for America as you are a tourist, so do not go around giving the rest of us a bad name. Have your fun, but be responsible.
Try the Food
We are pretty lucky in America that we are such a melting pot that we have pretty much every type of cuisine that you can find in the world. That does not mean that all food is equal and you will find that the food around the world can be much higher quality than you are used to. In Italy, the tomatoes just taste better. You can’t explain it, but they are just way better over there. The pizzas are better because the sauce is better. The same goes for pretty much anywhere else in the world. Your local Chinese food place is nothing like the real thing.
You are still going to have to make sure that you are not letting your studies slip, but this is going to be a blast and you are not likely to have an experience like this again. Do not take it for granted because you will regret it down the line. Instead of being a sad adult with regrets, be a fun kid who lives life to the fullest. Create memories overseas that you will never forget for the rest of your years.