5 Books That Inspire and Prepare You to Study Abroad

Here are five books that will make you want to study abroad, and mentally prepare you for it.

7 July 2020

Looking for some books to inspire you to travel? Or perhaps you’re looking to delve more into the experiences of others who have ventured into the unknown? Below we have compiled five books that will get you not only wanting to study abroad, but equipped to.  

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild book cover

While Wild takes place on the Pacific Crest Trail, the heart of Wild is understandable to anyone who shares the desire to know the world better by traveling it. Wild is a story of an impulsive and independent backpacker as she walks the trail alone while working through her past tragedy. 

This book encapsulates the feeling of wanting more and the search to find it both within and around yourself while traveling.  

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Americanah is a story of love and race featuring Ifemelu and Obinze—two Nigerian citizens who leave home with hopes of America. This book takes a look at both globalization and adapting to a new world with the culture of your old one still ingrained within you. Both concepts will be helpful as you take on studying abroad and learning in a new country.  

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes book cover

As the lightest book on this list, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a spontaneous quest taken by protagonist Ginny after the death of her aunt who leaves her 13 envelopes. Within envelope #1 is $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.  

As Ginny follows the clues on a whirlwind trip around Europe, she’s both put out of her comfort zone and forced to discover who she wants to be. While she experiences problems along the way, she always perseveres. This is an important lesson for other travelers—while things don’t always go according to plan, the adventure can almost always be salvaged.  

Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language by Eva Hoffman

Lost in Translation book cover

This book looks at Eva Hoffman’s personal experience as an emigre who deals with the loss of her past identity while faced with crafting a new one for a new land, culture, and language.  

While at times sad, this book provides an excellent look at experiencing a culture different than your own and adapting. Though you might not always feel comfortable, settling in is possible given time. This book will help foster an understanding of otherhood and kindness for others as well as exploring how this change can help you grow.  

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road book cover

This classic text follows Sal as he leaves New York and heads west traveling. The main character is relatable to all hopeful travelers as he follows his desire to see the world and learn from it. Throughout the story, Sal grows as a person through his experiences—becoming stronger and more confident. A hopefully relatable experience for others venturing abroad.

We hope these books will keep your travel bug alive while all our lives are paused for the time being. Although travel is restricted in the short-term, now is the perfect time to make plans for the future – and while you’re making those plans, know that SAF is here to help.

person reading book
person reading book

5 Books That Inspire and

Prepare You to Study Abroad
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