Make the most of your study abroad experience!
Having the chance to study abroad is a fantastic opportunity for any student wanting to improve their foreign language skills. Whether you are planning to study abroad for a month or a full academic year, ensure you get the most out of your experience, both academically and socially, by following these hints and tips.
1. Do your research and select the right course and destination for you
There are many course options available to you. From short junior summer courses and LC prep courses to Transition Year full year courses at a local secondary school. Read through each course type and decide which is best for your requirements and then choose a destination. Whether you want a summer beach destination, a culture rich city or a quiet rural provincial town, ensure you choose the right location for your particular requirments.
2. Embrace the local language
Learning French in France, Spanish in Spain or German in Germany can be daunting and you may be tempted to speak English if it is widely spoken in your destination town. But remember why you are there in the first place and try to always speak the local language when out and about, to your host family and with any local friends you may make. Practice makes perfect! Although you will be studying the language during the weekdays, real progress is made when spoken in day to day interactions. Try to interact as much as possible with the locals - you will most likely find that they appreciate your effort.
3. Set a list of program goals
Ensure you experience and achieve everything you intended to during your stay. If you are on a study abroad program for a short period of time only (eg. 1 month) then you might find that the days and weeks soon disappear and before you know it it is time to go home. Don’t have any regrets - make a bucket list of goals so that you are clear about what it is you want to get out of your study abroad experience. Whether it’s a social activity you want to try, certain sights you’d like to see or language learning goals, do the research at home before you depart and try to refer to your list throughout your stay.
4. Join in with group activities
All Stein Study courses offer a full social program with weekly excursions to nearby sites and attractions and social events in the evenings including sporting activities, games, movies etc. Being away from home and in a new environment can be daunting and is so much easier if you are able to mix with other students in the same position. You are sure to make new friends and memories to last you a lifetime.
5. Document your stay
Write in a journal to document your experiences and to help keep in contact with the people you meet. Of course social media makes it easy to both document your stay and keep contact with new friends you make. Take plenty of photos!
If you need help deciding which study abroad programme to choose and in which destination, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team at Stein Study.