Are you heading off to study abroad for a year? You’re not alone – around 4.3 million students are enrolled in education outside of their home country. That’s a lot of people! If you live in the UK, chances are you’ll end up studying abroad in continental Europe, which is the perfect base to fit in travelling into your year abroad. Here’s a few tips on how to make your year abroad an unforgettable one, and how you can fit in even more travelling along the way.
Make a list of the places you want to see. If you’re studying in a country like Germany, you’re conveniently placed to see countless European cities, such as Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, and Copenhagen. Most of these cities can be reached by train, which is a super cheap and efficient way of travelling. You don’t need to spend a whole week their either – fly out on a Friday for a city break and you’ll be back in time for your lecture on Monday!
See your doctor. You’ll already have a checklist of things to do before you leave, but something a lot of students forget is to see their doctor before heading off. Even if you don’t need any vaccines for where you’ll be living, you might want to go further afield. Don’t risk it and make sure you’re all sorted, health wise, so you don’t end up in a difficult situation in the customs area at the airport.
Put aside a rainy day fund. You’ll likely end up spending a lot more than what you originally planned, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as you have some money aside to cover it. You’ll find yourself going on spontaneous city breaks which can eat into your budget, especially if you’re studying in continental Europe! Definitely try and stick to your budget, but try not to worry if you don’t – studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, after all.
Bring a good camera. Sure, phone cameras are generally pretty good these days, but they’re generally more suited to snapping a few quick pictures. We also tend to never look at the pictures we take on our phones, but if you’re using a good camera, you’ll want to make the most of it and print them off or upload them to a photo sharing website.
Go outside of your comfort zone. Yes, that means trying food you thought you’d never eat, and speaking the language of your new country. You might feel silly at first but if you’re there for a year, you have to try living like a local. Going outside of your comfort zone is liberating and you might be surprised at how natural it feels after the first few times
Overall, studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to see as many places as possible in a short period of time. You’ll be ticking off your travel bucket list before you know it!