“Start feeling blessed instead of stressed.”
“You can definitely do this.”
Studying abroad. Those two words are sure to get a college student equal parts nervous and excited, but after hours of planning and considering every option you might start feeling a little bit uncertain. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. Traveling is always nerve-wracking, especially if you’re bringing any type of work with you. If you’re feeling pressure about studying on a different continent, here are some steps to take on your journey abroad.
Step 1: Remember Why You Were Interested In The First Place Obviously, you had a good reason to go before you started freaking out about it. Remember how excited you were about learning a new language and culture? That’s still how you feel, you just have to tap into that initial excitement! There is going to be pressure to have everything planned perfectly, but that’s unrealistic.
There will always be blips in your planning, so don’t worry about it! Getting cold feet is completely natural, but it’s also a feeling that will pass once you get there. Don’t forget that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and that traveling will never be as easy and interesting after you graduate!
Step 2: Don’t Move Too FastOnce you arrive, don’t take in all of the water. Soak up a little bit at a time, and get settled in first! Get to know your host family and become comfortable in the place you’re staying in. Maybe spend the first three days focusing on learning the language and planning out the rest of your stay. You are going to have to call it “home” for the time being, so why not make it feel like home?
Step 3: Be Mindful Of Your TimeJust as you had to back on campus, you should ALWAYS prioritize your studies. Hopefully, you’ve worked out so your course load isn’t too heavy, but you still need to make sure that you’re getting on top of your grades.
Take time out of your day for fun things, but always know that you are still responsible for your class work. Don’t forget that you are not on vacation, because if you get too distracted by your surroundings you could end up ruining your GPA without even noticing. You definitely do not need grade-related stress on top of the anxiety of being in a new place.
Step 4: Try New ThingsThe whole point of leaving the country is to get out of your comfort zone. If someone invites you to do something a little wild you should go for it! It could be a great opportunity to make memories and become even more saturated with the people and culture around you.
Having a really good time is a great way to forget about the stresses that being in a different country can create. Studying abroad is the perfect excuse to not only explore the country and the culture, but also your own limits. The more fun you are having, the less stressed you will be – guaranteed.
Step 5: Relax, never forget to sit down and take a breath every once and a while. It may seem that you can’t waste even a second, but you need to take a moment to stop and look around. If you don’t relax and enjoy the scenery you could miss a lot. Travel-based vacations are known to be extremely stressful because people don’t take the time to relax, and the same goes for studying abroad.
If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, you can always take a night to yourself. Do what you would do if you were stressed at home; watch Netflix, take a bubble bath, make a cup of tea, etc. Just because you’re overseas doesn’t mean you have to be active every second of every day!
Studying abroad can be a little stressful at times. Being on a totally different continent, surrounded by a whole new people and culture, can seem daunting at first but you can conquer it! Taking this opportunity is always scary, but it’s an experience you will never forget. If you ever start feeling too overwhelmed and pressured, you can always come back to these steps! Hopefully, they are helpful to you on your journey, or in making the decision to study abroad.