How to make the most of your studies abroad
Studying abroad is an investment in your future and can bring you a lot. It’s great for your personal and business development, it expands your (international) network, it improves your language skills and it looks good on your resume. But most of all it’s a fantastic adventure. So yes, we can definitely recommend going on student exchange. But how to make the most of your exchange period? Use these 7 tips to your advantage!
- Be prepared
Before you pack your bags, make sure you are well-prepared. This means of course enrolling at the university and finding a place to live, but there’s more. Important things to consider include a passport check (make sure it’s valid for the entire duration of your exchange), student visa, (health) insurances and airport pickup. And don’t forget to check whether you qualify for an Erasmus+ scholarship.
- Start your semester right
Once enrolled, find out if your new university offers a programme for international students. For instance, Tio University of Applied Sciences organises special welcome days for exchange students. These welcome days are all about meeting fellow students, getting to know the city and student society, getting a look behind the scenes at businesses in the industry and, most of all, having a good time. No better way to start your semester.
- Make new friends
Look for other exchange students on your new campus. You are all away from home and therefore are in the same boat. That creates a bond. Together it’s easier to undertake activities and to explore your new city. Go to the movies with your new friends, have a BBQ in the park, visit the newest hotspots in town or have a drink in the weekends. Don’t be afraid and dive into the student life!
- Make more new friends
However tempting it may seem to surround yourself only with other exchange students, it might not be a bad idea to also meet other (native) students. Getting to know native people can bring you a lot. They can guide you around, tell you all about the local culture, introduce you to new people and invite you to student society gatherings or other fun activities.
- Expand your social circle
In case you want to expand your (international) network even further, you might want to meet other people outside your student life. Join a local sports club, follow a cooking course or go volunteering. Even better, is to focus on your future career by visiting relevant companies, taking part in interesting workshops or having coffee with people from the field of your future career. This way you will meet lots of inspiring people!
- Immerse yourself in the local culture
Do as the locals do. There’s no better way to blend in! Ask your (native) fellow students, roommates, lecturers or study coaches about cultural customs and unwritten rules. Become acquainted with the food culture, visit local markets, celebrate National holidays and visit local museums. For some extra challenge you might even want to get to know some of the local language.
- Broaden your horizon
Last but not least, get out as much as possible! Visit places of interest, go hiking, take excursions, go to festivals and visit tourist attractions. And how about going a day or weekend to a major city abroad? When studying in the Netherlands, for example, you can easily travel by bus, train or plane to global cities like London or Paris. Say yes to as many new experiences as possible. One thing is certain: wherever you’re going, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Want to know why students from all over the world choose to study for a semester at Tio University of Applied Sciences? Check it out here.