Pre-Departure Resources > Maximizing Study Abroad
Make the Most of Your Abroad Experience!
The web has a wealth of information about making the most of your experience abroad — tips from travel experts and students just like you. The first thing to know is that you shouldn't spend all of your time reading about this topic online; you should just go out and experience your new city! If you do want some quick tips, though, try these websites:
- STA Travel Study Abroad Tips
- Students Helping Students—Advice on Dealing with Culture Shock
- DU Health and Counseling
We also recommend the interactive book Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students' Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use by R. Michael Paige et al. While this book does have some sections that are particular to learning a second language, the book has a larger focus upon intercultural experiences and learning and that will make it worth your purchase even if you will be studying in an English-speaking country.
20 Ways to Get the Least Out of Your Study Abroad Experience
- Only spend time with fellow Americans abroad.
- Don’t learn the language or about culture.
- Complain. A lot.
- Announce to whoever will listen how much better America is than the country you’re in.
- Only frequent McDonalds and Starbucks.
- Stay locked in your room and Skype your parents daily.
- Judge everyone based on cultural stereotypes.
- Spend the least possible amount of time in your study abroad city (and don’t make any local friends) by traveling every weekend.
- Take no part in the planning process and let parents or friends do everything for you.
- Stay within your comfort zone.
- Don’t do anything alone.
- Speak loudly during conversations, especially with people whose native language is not English.
- Avoid personal growth of any kind by not learning in classrooms or in social situations.
- Write off academic differences as inferior.
- Only use familiar products and eat familiar foods.
- Fill your suitcase with DU clothing and flip flops. Unabashedly wear them daily.
- Keep up with your favorite American TV shows and only go to American movies.
- View study abroad as one long vacation and view homework as optional.
- Avoid interaction with anyone foreign.
- Be just like this guy