Junior mathematics major and University Scholar Kat Turner is enjoying a year-long study abroad at the University of Adelaide. Kat has been blogging about her experience and in her most recent post shared some reflective advice from her experience.
Here is an excerpt from that post. You can find the full posting and more from Kat about Aussie road trips, rock climbing and surfing at her blog, http://aussieimpersonator.blogspot.com.au/.
If I had to give suggestions to someone about to study abroad, I would say to work on school in moderation and make sure you leave enough time to explore your city/country/possibly even continent. Failing shouldn’t be an option, but you will be learning so much that is not academically based, and you shouldn’t miss out on those opportunities because your head is buried in a book. And don’t worry about money! Trips will probably run you a pretty penny, but they will a) be worth it and b) be more expensive when/if you ever decide to do them at a later age. Plus, you never know if you will ever be back in the country again. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
Second piece of advice to study abroad students- don’t freak out about grades. Try your best, but if you don’t do as well as you usually do, there are probably reasons for it. Take them, learn from them, but don’t let them get you down. In the end, a story about the leadership skills you learned while abroad might even impress an interviewer more than some bragging about how you’ve gotten all As in college. And, as a (eh, I guess I’ll say he’s wise) man once said to me, “A 4.0 is failure.” Push yourself! And don’t look back!
Third piece of advice- meet as many people from as many different places as possible. I know of some groups here who hang out with mostly people from the same nation. Usually, the countries have large groups of students here, which is nice in the beginning but I can imagine that it would hold the students back. You can meet other Texans/Americans/wherever you’re from back at your home uni. Take this opportunity to meet people who are different from you, and you might be surprised at what you learn 🙂 And if you are worried that you won’t have much in common, don’t be! Conversations might be a bit awkward at first, but after a few weeks you’ll find your best friends.
Want to start your own study abroad adventure? Get Started at TAMU Study Abroad.