There are multiple types of Do’s and Don’ts of different topics, sometimes articles can be applicable, others can be stating ridiculous claims on what to do. Although being a French minor and writing for a blog that mostly focuses on Paris, I wanted to write about the in’s and out’s on what to do during any study abroad trip since it is more applicable for others.
Don’t neglect your homework
I think this one needs to be focused heavily on. Homework and schoolwork is a large part of any college career and simply being abroad is not a grand excuse for neglected homework. Remember, you are a student studying abroad. The semester is not a six-month long vacation. I have heard stories of students completely neglecting their studies and end up failing the semester or even getting kicked out of school. Therefore, focus on that work! Finish it early even to be able to travel more instead of being stuck catching up on homework. It brings less of a headache and more extra time.
Do enjoy solo travel from time to time
Take advantage of being alone every now and then. Some people can be alone all the time and a solo traveling tip would not be applicable. While being abroad in Paris, I took advantage of going places alone. Even though back at home, I tried to avoid going places alone Solo traveling pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me realize that I don’t always have to rely on everyone for support, I can do it myself. I learned how to get around the metro and went to tourist attractions or simple cafes. Being alone in another country, however, is both scary and intimidating, but I would take it a step at a time. Get coffee or dinner nearby the apartment or housing and expand from there.
Overpacking is a common thing for students as they study abroad. I took a carry on for the two and a half weeks I spent in Paris and everything was perfectly fine. I didn’t really need to wash my clothes, but I took advantage of the laundry room my housing provided. Don’t bring a carry on if studying abroad for a semester. One of the main reasons why I say to not overpack is, I think buying beauty and toiletry products make the studying abroad experience better. Finding different foreign products expands and opens more. Second, there wouldn’t be any room in the luggage for souvenirs. Overall, overpacking can be a bit of a nuisance.
Do budget your money
Budgeting is important in studying abroad. It disciplines the mind to not spend money on everything even though going to a foreign country gives more of a reason to purchase souvenirs. Studying abroad in itself is already expensive, I wouldn’t try to make any more large purchases that could fatally hurt the bank. What I did while studying abroad is having a certain amount of money and divide it by the days resulting in the amount of how much to spend per day. I even kept a small booklet to keep account for my purchases. Obviously, emergencies or situations can occur, so don’t be afraid to spend a bit more than desired, if there’s a need. For instance, I had shin splints, popped and stressed shoulder, and a sprained ankle. Through my near handicappedness, I spent about 50 euros to aid my injuries, but it was necessary. I was even fined on the metro, which cost about 65 euros. Situations do happen and situations require money, don’t be afraid to spend money when it is needed.
These do’s and don’ts are pieces of advice that I learned from studying abroad in Paris. Either these are situations that I learned from listening to other people’s stories or from my own experience. Overall, I think that studying abroad is an amazing opportunity for everyone, however, I do believe that there are tips and tricks that can be beneficial and be avoided.