Things I Learned Abroad

As my study abroad experience came to a close, I reflected on my time in Australia and what I learned outside of the CAPA classroom. Here are a few things I think every student that is studying abroad should know.

  1. Go with the flow…
    1. I used to always like to feel fully in control of situations, but I learned that it’s sometimes better to just let things happen they way they’re meant to happen. Things are sometimes more exciting when they’re not planned to a tee.
  2. …But also have a plan
    1. It’s also not good to go into things completely blindly. You should have somewhat of an idea of what you want to do, say for a weekend in a different city. You don’t want to get there and waste time researching and deciding on what you want to do.
  3. Things will go “wrong”
    1. Spending 3 months in a foreign country, traveling to different cities, all while taking classes/interning means that something is bound to not work out the way you thought it would. Whether it’s a missed flight, a lost phone, or a grossly overpriced meal, things are bound to happen. It’s important to stay calm– it’s not the end of the world, and you’ll figure it out somehow.
  4. You’re more independent than you think you are
    1. Some friends that I came abroad with had never even left America before. They were shocked at how much they were able to do on their own.
  5. Take (safe) risks
    1. I’m a relatively risk averse person, however I learned that I won’t remember the days where I just sat in my apartment instead of making the most of my time abroad. When doing activities like skydiving or bungee jumping, always look for companies with all good reviews and a 100% retention rate.
  6. Public transportation is your best friend
    1. While they may save time, Ubers and taxis can add up. CAPA paid for our public transportation, which made it easy for us to get around the city. Busses, trains, and ferries can take you all around Sydney and to the surrounding suburbs.