As you start your adventure in a new country, here are some tips to help you settle into life abroad and make the most of your time away!
- Research and learn
Know what to expect in your local area by researching your destination and local culture using online resources such as the pre-departure guides and Your Identity section in the SurreyLearn module ‘Let’s Go Abroad’.
- Become part of your local community
Find out about local festivities and take opportunities to learn about the local culture and language. Listen carefully to people, observe body language to determine meaning and ‘read between the lines’ on what they are saying. Recognise similarities and embrace the differences. Try not to stereotype, but try to see things from your host country’s point of view. Most importantly, ask questions and be non-judgmental!
- Be an active participant
Attend all required sessions and activities put on for you and actively participate in your study modules/work projects.
One of the most exciting benefits of studying or working abroad is the opportunity to travel and explore new places, whether that’s discovering your new favourite study spot in town or planning a weekend away with new friends.
- Say yes to every opportunity (as long as it’s safe)
Be sociable, put yourself out there and get involved!
- Keep in touch
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when dealing with cultural differences but maintain a positive outlook and interest in learning more. You may feel a range of emotions such as excitement, frustration at not being understood, impatience, nervousness and worry about making mistakes but remember to use your networks to help overcome any challenges. Keep in touch with other people on a placement or exchange and talk to them about how you feel. There will always be someone who understands. And finally, remember you can still access University of Surrey Wellbeing resources and support.