You’re in a new, beautiful place. You don’t know anyone here. You have never been here before and if you have, it was on vacation. So, study abroad certainly feels like vacation, and it’s incredibly easy to treat it like vacation. But, oh for the love of god, please don’t.
After three or four weeks of vacation I guarantee your body will feel it. So many study abroad students get sick, crabby, and hit a super low. Your body just isn’t made to sustain a vaction life for too long. You need at least a little structure and to treat yourself right.
The following are a couple tips to avoid spiraling out of control during your semester abroad:
- Don’t spend all your money in the first couple weeks on drinking, shopping, and eating out. You’ll be devastated when you’re sitting in your bed, alone on the weekends when all your friends are out traveling because you spent all your money when you got here. Create and stick to a budget.
- Don’t go out every night. You’re in a foreign country where no one knows you and won’t remember you in a few months, you literally have no inhibitions. You can do whatever and whoever you want every night. But there is a reason you don’t live like that in real life, the party life will catch up to you. Your body can only handle no sleep and a perpetual hangover for so long.
- Don’t eat only delicacies. Sure you have to try every unique food here and I fully encourage you to indulge everyday – you’re only going to be able to eat this food for so long. Just balance it out by still eating your fruits and vegtables, nothing is worse than being sick abroad and you can bet you’ll be sick in only a matter of time if you don’t eat anything nutritious.
- Don’t fill every second of your day. It’s important to take time for yourself. If you’re constantly by your friends’ side its only a matter of time before they start driving you crazy and you start getting short with them. Make sure you take a little time for yourself everyday. Also, constantly moving and jam packed days will burn you out. Take the time to relax, you’ll thank yourself when towards the end of your semester.
- Don’t forget about exercise. If you regularly go to the gym at home, are a runner, or do yoga/meditate everyday; please please please don’t stop when you’re abroad. There are gyms in every country and it’s really easy to turn a park into a gym. Exercise is a stress reliever and I promise you those endorphins will change you’re outlook on life every single day
Do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments.