Planning a study abroad trip and actually going on it are two entirely different things. When you’re planning the trip you’re more likely to focus on the logistics as well as all of the places you plan on traveling and all of the friends you’re going to make. On the other hand, you spent so long fantasizing about how amazing everything is going to be that when you board your plane and realize that it’s actually beginning there’s all sorts of new worries that pop into your head. Eventually you’ll get the hang of it and have the time of your life, but here are ten things you’ll probably worry about within the first few weeks of your study abroad.
10. Being the only American in your class. The people will by no means treat you like you’re an outcast, but they might talk about your accent or ask you what it’s like in America. This can also be kind of scary if you don’t like being put on the spot because being the only American in a class can make you stick out like a sore thumb whenever you speak.
9. Missing out on things at home. The last thing you should be worrying about is whatever’s going on at home, but sometimes you can’t help but worry about it anyway (especially when your friends are constantly posting on Snapchat about it). You might be afraid that things are going to change dramatically while you’re away to the point where when you finally go home you don’t recognize a thing, but realistically that’s probably not going to happen.
8. Not having enough money. Studying abroad usually means that you aren’t working in whatever country you’ll be in, so your funds can be a little lighter than usual. The best thing to do is figure out how much money you have for your entire trip, how much you’ve spent within the first week and then figure out a weekly budget from there. If you’re still worried about not having enough money then definitely look at tips and tricks on Pinterest!
7. Not being able to adjust to a new culture. Leading up to your study abroad you can look up what the culture is like where you’ll be going, but once you get there the best thing you can do for yourself is make friends with locals and see if they can help teach you a little more. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things! You’re more likely to end up disliking the local culture if you’re too consumed with how different it is from the culture you grew up with.
6. Not being able to adjust to a new education system. Again, don’t be afraid to try new things including study habits. At home you might be used to having homework every day and taking tests every other week, but in other countries it may not be like that. It may take a while to adjust, but the important part is that you at least give it a try. It’s probably not as hard to adjust as you think it is and you may even find you like this education system better!