Making the Most of Your First Week Studying Abroad

Starting your studies in a new country can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve compiled a list of general to-dos to help you make the most of your first week studying abroad on campus. Continue reading to learn more about how to best prepare yourself for a successful start to your new academic life!

Prepare for Your Courses

To ensure your priorities are in order, it’s a good idea to use the first few weeks studying abroad to prepare for your courses by:

  • Making any outstanding payments
  • Purchasing textbooks and course materials
  • Reading over your course syllabuses

This allows you to get a head start on your classes while also leaving some room in case you have any questions for your professor or need more time to find textbooks. Above all, it ensures that you are fully enrolled in all of your courses.

Get to Know People

Your first few weeks are an excellent opportunity to meet other students in a similar situation! You’ll be surprised how many similarities you have with other students, and you’ll enjoy their company. Here are some great ways to meet new people:

  • Participate in clubs and societies.
  • Make study groups with your classmates.
  • Take on a part-time job on campus.
  • Participate in orientation events.

Cozy Up Your Living Space

Personal touches are required to transform a house (or sometimes a dorm room!) into a true home. It can be unsettling to live in a foreign country, but incorporating touches of your personality and pieces from your home country into your space can make you feel a lot more at ease. Make your living space a place where you feel comfortable and happy, with areas for studying and relaxing. Some useful hints are as follows:

Display photos of loved ones on your walls or on your desk.
Have one or more light sources available (especially in countries like Canada, where the winter season is dark)
Display a memento from your home country.

Explore Your Campus

Visit new areas on campus to get to know what your campus has to offer—you might find your favorite study spot or a cozy campus cafe for your coffee breaks! While you’re exploring, it’s also a good idea to take advantage of any student benefits you may have. Many academic institutions, for example, provide students with a health and dental plan (along with insurance) or a discount on certain campus facilities and restaurants, such as gyms and restaurants. Some off-campus establishments, such as grocery stores, may also provide student discounts.

With these pointers in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your first week abroad. At the end of the day, it’s critical to remember to have fun and not put too much pressure on yourself. Everyone’s study abroad experience is unique and special in its own right.