My Year Abroad: Guest Post by Hugh (An Introvert Abroad)

Hey!

My work and uni bestie, Hugh, finally started his blog early last year when he moved to France to study abroad with our university.

Find it here!

He’s written a little something reflecting on the year!

Enjoy!

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Planning

Plan travel as early as possible to save on costs. The earlier you arrive, the more time you have to adjust to your new environment, especially if it’s so different from your own. Make sure you know what you don’t have when you arrive so you can hit the shops early.

Research

Make sure you research where you’ll be staying; nearby shops, leisure, banks, places to meet people for coffee. You’ll feel more prepared if you know what’s around you. Also research the country itself, local customs and traditions. Many things are the same in the West, but once you move further East, things are a lot different.

Language

If you’re going to a country running the Erasmus+ programme, you’ll have an online set of resources to work on your language. Normally a year abroad is part of a language course, but if yours is something else, and the period abroad is optional, make sure you learn the language. Of course, you’ll pick it up once you’re in the country, but a session on Duolingo every now and again will certainly help.

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Learn To Cook

Ideally, you should know how to cook a few basic meals by the time your study abroad comes around, but if you don’t, now’s the time to learn. If you’re going somewhere with a vastly different culture and food variety, try and find some recipes using the ingredients you’ll have available.

Budget

The most important step to take is to budget. I’d recommend doing this once you’re in the country, so you know the price of stuff. Always factor in rent and food first, then put aside a certain amount each month for non-essentials – going out, clothing, trips out.

Take Advantage of Student Events

Many universities offer student events like buffets, ice-skating, welcome parties. Make sure you take full advantage of these and try to go to as many as you can. Not only can you save money with free food or reduced ticket prices, but it gives you an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. I know it might be hard for some people to interact with new people, and I understand that. I can’t speak for everyone, but I find once I get to know people more I can open up and become less introverted. You never know, they might be the same as you!

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You can find Hugh on Twitter and Instagram!

See you on Wednesday!

Lots of love

Niamh

Xxx

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