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Coping While Abroad

Have the unexpected discoveries or miscommunications of living abroad ever been enough to make you want to laugh or cry? Then read on.

By studying abroad, you share experiences that many would say make you a world citizen or a global nomad. Whatever you want to call it, there are ups and downs particular to being a fish out of water, or a fish who finally finds water it likes. The highs and lows that you might experience are perfectly normal when living in a culture that is different from your own.

Here are some suggestions to help you maximize and cope with your experiences abroad:

  • Go out of your way to meet local people. Join a club, play a sport, take a fun class, or volunteer.
  • Get to know the area and establish regular patterns. You'll feel more at home and businesses will recognize you as a regular.
  • Use the local language and learn about local viewpoints and customs.
  • Keep a journal to help you digest your experience now and cherish when you get back home.
  • Unplug yourself from the US. Don't spend all your free time e-mailing home.
  • Snap lots of photos.

The following links are to articles and other reflections on living abroad. We hope these will help you better navigate and enjoy the study abroad ride:

Please share any suggested additions with us.

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