Students and advisors share tips for those about to study abroad

by Stephan Early, Contributor

The country has been chosen, the scholarships have been granted and the bags have been packed for weeks, but before students embark on their study abroad adventures, some advice should be taken.

Students who have studied abroad, and the advisors who helped send them, shared tips on what to expect when leaving the country.

Theater junior Kaitlyn Taylor is currently studying abroad in England at Kent University.

“For the trips that I want to take while I’m here, I wish I would have planned more before I left,” Taylor said.

She said she has made many new friends, but advises students to plan accordingly when traveling.

“Don’t plan (to travel) every weekend, but do plan a few main trips,” Taylor said.

International Student Center peer advisor Giovanni Ferrante said it can be easy for students to under budget when planning weekend trips.

“Depending on how long the program is, you want to set aside extra money because there will be so many activities that you weren’t expecting the cost of,” Ferrante said.

Ernesto Silva, a political science masters student, studied abroad twice in France. He said it was comforting to interact with such a friendly environment.

“I didn’t expect the French people to be as nice as they were. You go in and you expect to be home sick, but it’s so nice to be around these different people,” Silva said.

He also said studying abroad in the same country for a second time gave him a new perspective.

“I felt even better than the first time because I had already gone through the learning part,” Silva said.

Taylor said students about to study abroad should always say yes to trying new things and going to new places.

“Just do it, you can nap after class,” Taylor said.

She also had some advice for students and safety.

“Be aware of your surroundings, it is a totally different place,” Taylor said. “You don’t want to offend anybody, and you don’t want to be that loud American.”

Many students who have already studied abroad advise others to prepare and start the process early.

“It’s out of the ordinary to study abroad,” Silva said. “I would try to break out of the shell to try to make it happen because it’s not easy.”

For information on studying abroad and the opportunities provided to students, contact the International Student Center or stop by the office.