Before You Go Down Under

If only you knew the amazing people and places you will experience in the next 3 months. Studying abroad is not an easy task, especially if you travel without knowing anyone. But no matter what, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and step outside your comfort zone! There will be highs and lows throughout your journey, but that’s all part of the experience. Don’t let anything hold you back, and make sure to make the most of your time abroad. Time is going to move by fast. Actually, a lot faster than what you think.  But don’t focus on how time may limit you from doing everything you want. Some of the best experiences you will have will come unexpectedly! The world is such a beautiful place, pictures truly do not do it justice. Try to see as much of it as you can from the beaches, mountains, and desert. You never know when this opportunity may happen again, so take full advantage of every second of free time you have to do something you may not have the chance to do ever again. 

For some little tips of advice: 

  1. Money comes back. Travelling is expensive. You will be tempted to try different restaurants, enjoy the nightlife and go shopping. However, do not  get too paranoid with how much you spend. Every dollar you spend abroad can be on something that you will never have the opportunity to get again. 
  2. It is ok to have a personal day. Some days can be overwhelming with planning weekend trips, school projects and other activities. Take some time for yourself to regroup such as calling friends and family back home, doing homework, laundry  and going on a long walk. 
  3. Don’t get too comfortable. It can be easy to establish a set routine, but don’t let it prevent you from trying new things. Go somewhere different once a week. Try a different restaurant, go to a different beach, etc. There is so much to see and do so make all of your activities diverse. 
  4. Have a general idea of where you want to travel and plan your trips early. Flights get booked fast and the longer you wait the more expensive they will become and popular activities will get completely booked .   

It is hard to put into words exactly how you will grow throughout this experience. I find it to be more of a realization. A realization of what you are capable of, your likes, dislikes and interests. You will have a better understanding of what you value, whether that be what you value in a person, in a home, or an environment. Don’t get caught up in what may seem like what “everyone” else is doing. Everyone came to study abroad for their own individual reasons, so never forget the reason why you chose to come here.

All the best,

Mariah Smith