I hope you’re doing okay. I know you’ve got to be nervous; after all, landing in a strange country that’s suddenly your home for the next four months is intimidating. It’s going to be nerve-wracking and way outside your comfort zone. Believe me though, it’s all going to be worth it.
I’m writing you from April of this year (don’t ask me how) and just wanted to offer you some advice. This semester is going to be full of new and different experiences, and if you follow this advice, you’ll get to fully enjoying this adventure a lot sooner. I have three key pieces of advice:
- Plan, plan, plan. I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan ahead this semester. It’s already in your nature to do so, but if in your situation, I would take extra care in budgeting money for everything you want to earlier. Particularly for spring break, I have a feeling flights are looking a lot nicer in early January than they did for me two weeks before break.
- Hit the highlights. I’ll save you some trouble. Stonehenge is a letdown. Paris is great, but it’s underwhelming compared to what’s in store. Look both ways before taking your picture on Abbey Road, the drivers have little patience in that area. You’ll love Liverpool, try go twice if you can. The Cliffs of Dover are beautiful, but wear better shoes for walking than I did. Italy is something else entirely, so fill up on the delicious food there because you won’t be able to afford good food in Switzerland (I paid $15 for a meal at Burger King–not kidding). Amsterdam is beautiful, and Edinburgh is too (but don’t schedule the wrong bus back to London this time). If you can find time, try to see Ireland outside of Dublin.
- Be excited. It’s easy to get caught up in how overwhelmed or exhausted you might feel. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, so just remember to take a look around once in awhile and really appreciate where you are and what you’re doing. It’s absolutely incredible.
I’m envious of all the time here you have ahead of you. But knowing myself, I know you’ll make as much of it as I did. I hope this helps and good luck!