Studying abroad is certainly a challenge. This is true for Erasmus students on 6 or 12-month exchange programs and this is true for International students doing whole degrees far from home. It is frustrating at some points, and in many others it’s the happiest you’ll ever be. It’s always a growth period, a time to put yourself to the test and find out of what kind of fiber you are made of.
What are you made of ? What will make you cry ? No one knows and probably you’ll be the only one finding out.
Some of us go studying abroad because of how well it looks in the curriculum and the status it shows back home. Some of us because we want to break free from our parents’ house for a while and others just because studying abroad seemed fun and tempting enough.
In between these stereotypes of people I would like to talk about the one who’s looking forward to have fun and still learn a thing or two. I call them:
The smart/boy studying abroad
Some people say the smart boy is a step away from being a nerd or a geek. Others say the smart boy is a kind of a shy rock star. Both definitions are wrong!
The smart student is the one who makes the best decisions (beer + interesting talk), manages to balance his main activities (drinking beer + going to Uni), knows right from wrong (doesn’t miss a class – even if he only gets 2 hours sleep after partying 8). In sum we can put it like this: it’s the mix between the best of each world.
While you’re abroad you will be tempted to be the party animal, to be the geek, both or even none of them but no matter what you choose: make sure you’re the smartest guy within the flock. University years are the best of our lives and that happens for many reasons that I’m not allowed to write in this post.* Nevertheless, I have 3 great tips to make you a smarter student when studying abroad:
1)Studying abroad tip #1: Learn vs Party? Do a Bit of Both!
wherever you’re studying abroad make sure you balance and manage having fun with time invested in your work (- sounds a little boring, maybe, but it’s the key to enjoy Erasmus life at the fullest);
2)Studying abroad tip #2: Meet the locals
Make sure you’re not too shy to make a couple of local friends. Other foreign students tend to mingle but the locals are the ones who know how to pull the best out of a certain city. Team up with the locals and prepare to have a unique experience abroad!
3) Studying abroad tip #3: Do different
Eat, drink, talk and do everything differently from what you’d do in your hometown. Discover new flavors, new habits and the so well-kept local secrets. Get to know the people and their steps, their do’s and dont’s. Most of all don’t go abroad and still live within the original 4 plain walls of your home!
If nothing of this works, well… Enjoy a beer and smile!
*Editor’s note: We don’t actually censor our writers, I swear they are allowed to write (practically) anything and everything! – Francisco Peres