6 Tips for Being the Best Ever at Studying Abroad

Whether you’re preparing to study abroad for the first time or beginning another semester overseas, maximize your experience with these tips from SAF American University Alumna Rebecca Yan.

1. Celebrate Your Accomplishments Abroad
At first, everything is new, especially in the United States. In some ways it can seem like you’re living a television series. You find yourself thinking in new and challenging ways. It can be exhausting. Celebrate your everyday achievements, no matter how mundane. Find things you enjoy about the culture and celebrate your independence.

2. Make New (Foreign) Friends
Be sure that you develop long-term friendships with people from around the world. Have deep talks and be open to learn new ways of life. When homesick, find comfort by sharing your culture with your friends from abroad. Chances are they will be enthralled by your stories about home.

3. Travel
From Las Vegas to London and beyond, there are so many places to visit now that you’re in the Western Hemisphere. A great way to get over feeling homesick is to get excited about going on an adventure.

4. Be Open-Minded
Be open to not only learning American culture but others, too. Join international clubs and take advantage of the cultural enrichment events at your university. At American University, for example, Abroad at AU provides opportunities for international students to go on city tours, attend talk sessions and more. I can tell you that it is amazing.

5. Use University Resources
I think one of the best parts of studying at American University is that we have so many resources on campus. Visit your university resource center to learn more about campus activities, concerts, sports activities, job fairs, writing labs and more.

6. Learn to Prepare Your Favorite Foods
If you learn to cook even just one of your most-loved meals from home, you won’t have to rely on those (in)authentic restaurants near campus for comfort food. Or, you may return home to find that you miss dining on a new Western favorite. In either case, record the recipes and practice making them in the kitchen ... with friends.