Fall semester is coming up, and I bet a lot of you are nervous about your upcoming semester abroad! Do not stress- feeling nervous before taking the trip overseas is completely normal. To ease your nerves here are a few ways you can keep your cool before embarking on the adventure of a lifetime!
1. Meet Your Classmates. A great way to calm your nerves before going abroad is getting to know the other students in your program. You will be spending a lot of time together and it is a good idea to get comfortable with one another before you leave. Reach out to your fellow classmates and schedule a time to meet to get to know one another a little more. If you’re participating in a program with students outside of your university, a great way to get in touch with them is to start a Facebook group. If your program has not yet made one, take initiative and start connecting with them. Trust me, It will make you a lot more comfortable.
2. Contact Alumni. Ask your study abroad office for contact information of students who have previously participated in your program. Communicating with alumni can eliminate your nerves and answer any of your unanswered questions. They also can give you great recommendations on things to do on your free time and how to make the most out of this experience! If you cannot get in contact with anyone who has participated in your program, connect with any of your friends who have traveled abroad.
3. Research, Research, Research. Getting familiar with your foreign surroundings before you get there will make you feel a lot more comfortable. An easy way to get familiar with these surroundings is by utilizing Google images and Google street view. Plug in your new address abroad into Google Maps and their street view option will get you familiar with your new home and everything surrounding it.
4. Set Up a Way of Communication Before you leave, set up a secure way of communication. Whether that is Skype, Face time, Viber, or an international cell phone, I recommend testing it out before you leave. This way, as soon as you arrive at your destination, you’ll have a way to contact back home to tell them how much fun you’re already having.
5. Reflect On Why You’re Studying abroad. Going abroad for the first time can be very nerve-wracking and at times you may second-guess your choice to travel so far away from home. Reflect and make a list of all the reasons why you are excited to go abroad. You may even want to make a bucket list! Look at your list whenever your nerves are getting too much to handle and start to feel that excitement again.