5 Things you might not realize about studying abroad


Skylar was Lasell University’s first student ever to study in Japan! Photo Courtesy of Skylar Diamond


By Skylar Diamond – 1851 Staff

After studying abroad, you realize all those people who told you it was going to change your life were right. However, these are five things that you might have not realized about studying abroad until you’ve done it.

  1. Life at home still goes on without you
    • While abroad, you’re focused on literally every other thing but home. Traveling, making friends, going to classes, where you’re going to eat- the list goes on. However, after you return home from being abroad, you realize that people have been going through their own experiences, just like you have. 
  2. You become a lot more independent than you thought 
    • Once you settle into a routine, you might want to explore on your own. Going to certain sightseeing spots, eating at certain restaurants, possibly even taking your own personal trip are all possibilities. Don’t think of independence as isolating yourself from the friends you make. You’re allowed to want to go out and do things on your own.  
  3. You don’t get to see and do absolutely everything (and that’s okay)
    • The country you’ll be studying abroad in is bigger than you could have imagined. The places you might want to go to are not close to each other and you’re freaking out about making sure you pack five years of living in that country into about four months. Don’t look at it as a “missed opportunity,” look at it as “now I have a reason to go back.”  
  4. The little things add up
    • Everyone knows before they go abroad that money is a super important thing to keep in mind, and while they’re abroad everyone is afraid of running out. Despite that, you’ll still find yourself spending five dollars on a certain drink because it’s your new favorite or buying postcards because they remind you of a certain place. 
  5. You talk about your time abroad to everyone
    • Once you return to your campus, everyone you haven’t seen will ask you, “How was your time in ___?” Even when they don’t ask you, you’ll find yourself still telling them about your time abroad. There’s a stereotype about people who go abroad because they don’t know how to talk about anything else and, for a bit, that will be true.

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