Making the Most of Your Time Abroad as a Student
Your time overseas as a student is the most enjoyable time of your life. Do not waste this opportunity by hiding under your covers or burying your nose in your book. Studies aren't everything in life, no matter what your parents may say.
So what can you do to ensure you've got a quality education abroad?
1. Go on a Journey
While you are in the UK and on the doorstep of Europe, plan trips to visit the historical landmarks you've only seen in movies. It doesn't have to be planned or come with a complete itinerary.
Although planning your trip ahead of time may save you a decent amount of cash, a spontaneous weekend trip can be just as fun!
There are many cheap travel alternatives easily accessible to international students here in the UK, and there are also decent travel packages you can opt for if you do not like the hassle of planning a trip.
Image source: The Inquisitr News
2. Embrace the Culture
While you are in the UK, it is worth indulging in the pub cuisine and attending a live football match. Get to know the slang, and practice impersonating a few accents while you're at it.
And if your English is not as good as you'd like it to be, take this opportunity to polish and refine your vocabulary.
3. Take Risks
Psst- Your parents are not watching. No one is here to tell you what you can or cannot do. So take some risks every now and then. Go dancing, attend a large concert, climb a mountain. And even if they are not great experiences, you will get some cool stories to bring home.
4. Make International Friends
There is no point in studying overseas unless you make friends with people from all over the world. Be open- minded as you chat and learn about cultures in other countries with other students and locals. Besides, you will get great travel tips and know the best places to go in their home country.
Image source: Travel + Leisure
5. Take a Picture - Your Memories Will Last Longer
Snap pictures of your home in the UK and of your friends at university. Go wild with the camera as you travel. One day when you are back in your home country, it will be nice to look at these pictures and remember the amazing times you had while you were abroad. And if you are feeling particularly artistic, why not sketch your travels in a journal and make interesting anecdotes of your own travels?
Here are some things you shouldn't do while you are studying abroad:
• Overdose on Technology
Staring into a screen can distract from the wonderful view around you. Enjoy the changing of the four seasons with your eyes. Eat something amazing, do something extreme or just enjoy the scenery without posting it up online. You will be amazed at what you experience with your head lifted away from your screen.
Image source: YummyMummyClub
• Only Travel in Groups
You do not need to follow a big group to travel. Travelling by yourself or with a close friend can be just as fun. Imagine how easy it would be to do the things you wanted or go to the destinations you're interested without having to deal with six other people. By yourself, you can choose what you want to do, when and how you want to do it!
• Be a Scaredy-Cat
Everyone has fears, but do not let them stop you from experiencing new things. Staying in your comfort zone won't increase your quality of life. Do not miss out on opportunities because of fear or homesickness. Be active in seeking out new experiences and opportunities. Conquer phobias, take a chance on making new relationships, and stick your neck out wherever possible. It is your life to live, so live it to the fullest!
Having loads of fun is a great priority to have, but it's also important to be safe. Do not kill yourself or put yourself at risk just for a good time. Be careful of what you wear and the accessories you have on. Wearing branded clothing and lots of expensive jewellery may place you as a suitable target to be robbed. Make sure your belongings are always with you and do not carry large amounts of cash wherever you go.
Familiarise yourself with traffic regulations in the UK and know your rights as an international student. Know where your GP is located in case you fall sick and need medical help.
Emergency numbers are free, and can be called from landline phones and cell phones. Some useful numbers to keep in mind are:
• 111 (non-life threatening emergencies)
• 999 (emergency numbers in case of a serious crime, medical emergency etc.)
• 101 (non-emergency number to contact the police)
At some point you will realise that you are actually living there, and you will stop doing and seeing as many things once the novelty has worn off. It is easy to forget that your time abroad as a student will end and that you will have to leave one day. Do not wait till that day to regret not doing more. Use your given holidays wisely and go board a plane!
Of course, in order to experience the life of an international student in the UK, you need to start by applying for the right course for you. Don't forget that there is a bursary worth £300 for every student who successfully enrolls to a course via our website because helping students' realise their ambitions is what we do. In the meantime, we want to hear your thoughts so give us a shoutout on Facebook and Instagram!
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