How to Survive Your First Year of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is one of those things that only a few lucky people get to do, and if you’re one of those people, then you really need to embrace it. But, that’s easier said than done when you’re studying hard on the other side of the world.

To help you get as much enjoyment out of it as possible, we’ve put together a few survival tips that will allow you to enjoy every second of it. Take a look, stay positive, and you’ll enjoy some of the best times of your life.

Get Yourself a VPN So You Can Access the Same Content as Back Home

The online world makes staying in touch with the events back home so much easier than it would have been 30 years ago. If you want to ensure that you can always watch your favourite shows and read the news, signing up to a VPN service is really important.

Often, content will be blocked or filtered when it moves across borders, but a VPN is a safe and secure way to get round that potential stumbling block. If you sign up before you fly out, you won’t have any issues when you get to your room and want to Skype your parents. Studying abroad is all about the preparation!

Find an International Food Store, and Treat Yourself


If you miss home from time to time, that’s perfectly natural, and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. All the new foods to try can be really exciting, but you’ll also miss some of your favourite snacks from back home. Virtually every university town will have several international food stores that cater to the culinary desires of students from all corners of the globe.

Get yourself over to one within your first couple of days, and treat yourself to an ample supply of sweet treats. You’ll be glad you have them when you get homesick.

Join a Sports Team and Get to Know Loads of New People

Getting to know your classmates is the best way to combat homesickness, and what better way to do it than by joining a sports team? You’ll have that shared bond and passion, and you’ll naturally be meeting up at least a couple of times a week to work out and train. Before you know it, the first social of the semester will be on the horizon, so make sure you go to it, even if you’re feeling a bit shy.

The bonds you make by joining a team will be some of the strongest you make in your time at university, and there’s nothing that will take the place of regular sporting fixtures once you graduate. Enjoy it, make the most of it, and jump in feet first if you want to make the most of your time abroad.

Find a Few Friends from Your Native Country

You might feel like you’re the only student from your home country on the entire campus, but that’s just so unlikely, isn’t it! Join the international students society, and you’ll be able to meet plenty of people from your native country. Just being able to speak your own language and chat about the same TV shows will put you at ease. If you have a group of friends from back home, and plenty of classmates and housemates from all around the world, you’ll really be able to enrich your university experience.

Always Opt for Shared Accommodation So That You’re Never Alone

Shared accommodation can feel a little daunting at first, especially when you walk through the door for the first time and are greeted by a half a dozen people you’ve never met before. Taking the plunge and embracing the social aspect of shared living is a great way to make the most of your time away from home.

It might be tempting to opt for a studio apartment so you can have a little bit of privacy, but you’ll be missing out on so much social life that you’ll soon regret it. Find a living space that gives you the right balance between study time and social opportunities, and you’ll probably never want to go home!

Call Home Once a Week, and Share Photos of Your Big Adventure 

Calling home is something that you really want to turn into a habit. Your parents will love to hear how you’re doing, and it will give you that sense of grounding that only mum and dad can.

Taking time out of your day to hear the news from back home and just catch up with the people you love is really important when you’re abroad.

It will remind you that you’re there for a limited time, and that you really need to make the most of it. Before you know it, you’ll be packing up and on your way home. Get out there and enjoy yourself!


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