It’s no secret. There are a lot of advantages of studying abroad.
World-class education. Cultural immersion. New places. And who can forget? New people! Studying abroad is, no doubt, one of the most memorable experiences in your student life—and if you’re lucky, some of the best days of your life.
While we don’t downplay the struggles of being a sojourner in a foreign land, the advantages of studying abroad are something we can all look forward to. If you’re planning to study abroad or have been living that life for a while now, here’s a quick rundown of the people you’re going to meet along the way!! (If you haven’t met them yet, you can treat this as your checklist. Go find these people on your trip.)
1. Helpful professors
Studying abroad is a whole new world. Different school, different teaching method, and different learning environment! How do you cope with these changes? We say, make time to meet and connect with your professors. Mind you, the goal is not to be a teacher’s pet but so your teacher can put a face behind your name on the class list.
When you get to know your professors, you will know what to expect in their class and be able to prep for it! Plus, you can maximize consultation hours without introducing yourself… for the nth time.
2. Titos and titas in the admissions office
Being a student is hard. Being an international student is harder. Just imagine juggling academics, adjusting to a new environment, and literally getting lost on campus (at least for the first few weeks!) all at the same time. Sounds like a nightmare!
In times of school-related SOS, the titos and titas in the admissions office are the best people to approach. No kidding! And they’ll be glad to help, too. Does your university offer academic assistance for exchange students? Are there cultural nights for international students? Learn all these nitty-gritty details by dropping by the admissions office. Information and new friends await you!
We know this for a fact: Filipinos are everywhere. In your host country, in your city, in your university. There’s a kababayan within a 5-kilometer radius! (Okay, we’re exaggerating.) When you study abroad, feeling homesick is a difficult battle you fight everyday. But surrounding yourself with people who can remind you of home is a good strategy to have. (Nope, we’re not just talking about eating adobo together.)
Going away to study abroad doesn’t have to mean going away from your roots. Ask around about a Filipino community inside and outside school, and stay updated!
Okay, we know parents used to remind their kids not to talk to strangers, and we agree! But we also know there’s a fine line between being careless and being cautious. Be the latter, and use your judgment when engaging with locals. These are people you meet while walking to and from school, strolling through town, or even chatting with your next door neighbors!
No one knows your host country like the locals do in the same way that no one knows your home more than you do. Make some local friends. Are there hidden cafes or shops off the map they love going to? Ask away or join them once in a while! More often than not, the most unforgettable memories of your trip come from unplanned sidetrips after a long day in school.
5. Core friend group
Studying abroad is good. Studying abroad with friends is better! There’ll be a lot of acquaintances you will meet along the way—people you meet in class, in the dorm, or even on the streets. Go ahead and make as many friends as possible! (Limiting it to a handful is good, too. You do you!)
Make your study trip extra fun by surrounding yourself with people who will help you in your studies. But don’t forget to make memories together as you go from one place to another, one weekend after another.
Not every student gets the opportunity to study abroad and see the world. When you get the chance, make every moment count. Seize every opportunity to learn, relearn and unlearn things as necessary. And don’t forget to involve people along the way! As they say, studying abroad is a treasure trove of memories you’ll keep even long after you’ve gone back home.