5 Books to Inspire and Prepare You to Study Abroad

Books inspire, they journey you into the experiences of others who have ventured into the unknown. We have compiled a list of five books to prepare and excite you to study abroad.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed



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 for America. This book looks at both globalization and adapting to a new world with the culture of your old one still ingrained. 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.jpg


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. In 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 to plan, you can always salvage your adventure.

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

Lost in Translation.jpg


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 is an excellent look at experiencing other cultures and adapting to fit in. Though you might not always feel comfortable, settling in is possible given time. This book will help foster an understanding of otherhood and kindness as well as exploring how this change can help you grow.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road.jpg


This classic text follows Sal as he leaves New York and travels west. 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 through his experiences, becoming stronger and more confident. A hopefully relatable experience for others venturing abroad.

We hope these books will feed your travel bug. It’s always the perfect time to make plans for the future – and while you’re making those plans, know that SAF is here to help.

Informational Pre-departure