Now that I am a seasoned Abroad veteran, I’m here to continue to impart my infinite wisdom on you all. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes people make going abroad.
Caring too Much about Perfect Food Finds
My roommate in Prague is a total foodie. This man lives, breaths, and survives (weirdly enough) on food. His palate stretches quality levels, tastes, and experiences, however it consistently seeks out the very best in each place we visit. With each new city comes endless research on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and even Michelin to track down authentic and particularly delicious eats. I think that this has detracted from my abroad experience, turning meal times and meal-searching times into less of an general experience and into a food experience. When food is your focus, you forget everything else. Why obsess over whether or not your meal is perfect when you can just sit anywhere, enjoy local food, and have a good time.
The one thing that I have realized is that Abroad is EXHAUSTING. It doesn’t help that I have 9AM classes every day of the week, but I regularly get 5-6 hours of sleep and rarely surpass 7. It’s an incredibly overstimulating experience and while in may be “worth it” to lose sleep for ‘one night,’ those nights add up. Getting a few nights of solid sleep a week would be infinitesimally more worth it than getting sick and out of commission for a full week.
Taking time off to study
You study abroad to learn outside of the classroom and not necessarily within the classroom. Don’t skip fun and meaningful trips just because you have ‘midterms’ or ‘finals or ‘too much work.’ Besides, you’re just going to procrastinate and not study if you’re home for the weekend anyway.
Not planning or researching before going to a new place
I do this all the time and always leave myself wondering what buildings are, what the history behind the city is and various other questions. All these questions can be answered by just reading the city’s Wikipedia page the week before and would make the experience way better.
Getting into a new Netflix show on the plane ride to Europe
Genuinely the most dangerous and widespread problem on here.