Expect the unexpected when studying abroad. As you embark upon this new journey, you’ll find yourself heading to a place filled with the unknown. The sights and sounds that are familiar to you will no longer be there, but will be replaced with different ones in your new home. You’ll slowly learn the do’s and don'ts of whatever destination you’ve chosen and become accustomed to them. You’ll meet people from all around the world and you’ll learn about their homes and their cultures. When it comes to studying abroad, mental preparation is key. The mind moves the body and, in this case, the mind needs to prepare and be ready for the body and its soul to face all of these changes.
Be Bold: Applying to study abroad is the first step toward being bold and stepping outside of your comfort zone. This process requires faith and persistence. There are going to be good days and days when everything seems to go wrong. That’s part of life – and of studying abroad. You are living the experience.
Be Adaptable: When you travel somewhere new, you’ll have to adjust to new customs and routines. For example, in the Netherlands people bike everywhere. Sure there are trams, trains and Ubers available, but many Dutch people seem to find that bikes are the simplest, cheapest form of transportation available. This may take some getting used to if you don’t typically move around on two wheels. Remember: You don’t have to change overnight. Just be open to learning and adapting to the changes life will inevitably bring to you.
Research, Research and Research: Learning as much as you can about a place before arriving there will help you a lot! To find out if a place is right for you, investigate what language its residents speak, what kinds of food they most commonly eat, and what kind of housing will be available to you to help determine whether or not it will be a good fit. You want to be comfortable and at peace when you travel, and that requires research.
Hasina Foye ’23 is an aspiring journalist from Bronx, N.Y., who is studying English literature and communications at Le Moyne. Hasina is spending the spring semester of 2022 at Hague University in the Netherlands and will be sharing her reflections on life abroad. Please continue to follow her journey here.