How to survive studying abroad

How to survive studying abroad: tips from exchange students
Published by Sofia on 2023-02-03 in Pop
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Hey everyone! My name is Sofia and today I want to help you.

Part of the life of many teenagers is studying abroad, leaving home and your family behind. It could be for a couple of weeks during a school trip, maybe an Erasmus of six months or a year, or maybe for the entirety of university. Anyway, many people try to go away. Feeling scared or not ready is totally normal and that's why today I asked some of my friends who are studying abroad to share their experiences and give some tips. Here you have them!
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ilustration by Radioimmaginaria
Sofia, from Milan to Venice

"I didn't know what to expect from this experience; whether I would get along with my roommates or not, how frequently I would risk blowing the whole place up, and stuff like that.

I must admit I didn't trust myself much, however it was not long before I felt like I had adapted pretty well to the new environment and started enjoying this adventure without restraints.

What helped me the most was pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone and talking to people, trying out different things until I created a close friend group and developed a routine that works well for me.

At first I felt a bit lost due to all the people I used to rely on being that far away from me, but I understood it was a feeling shared by the majority of us transfer students, and I found solace in sharing that.

I would advise anyone moving for study purposes to be open to the most varied possibilities and to never make comparisons with the situation back home, as it is unlikely to bring about any positive impact.

And last but not least, never be ashamed of feeling homesick! You're just realizing how lucky you are to have such treasured memories, and you're just about to gain some more."
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ilustration by Sofia A
Gabriele, from Milan to Düsseldorf

"My experience as an exchange student was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. It changed my perspective on life as a person. I learned how to take care of myself and how to engage with other people in a more mature way. I can't say that it was easy, but it was definitely worth it.

Being completely alone made me see things in a different way. Nobody could have helped me except for myself, so I had to be my own guide. I had the opportunity to create relationships that I hope will last forever, and that allowed me to be a better version of myself. I would encourage people to study abroad because even if it might look frightening at first, it will turn out to be the craziest and most amazing adventure of your life."
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ilustration by Sofia A
Francesco, from Cremona to Milan

"Moving to a big city I thought I was going to go out a lot in my free time. After a couple of weeks I had way too much to study and chores didn't exactly help, especially because of my not very helpful roommates. Cleaning and groceries shopping aren't a burden to me at all, even better, sometimes they represent a way to take some much needed time off of studying, but my advice is to set some rules with your roommates from the get go in order to find your balance and not be burdened by useless chores which shouldn't be only yours to do."
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ilustration by Sofia A
Maurizio, from Milan to Amsterdam

"Living alone and especially abroad is a choice that I made last year because I needed to break free from the chaotic situation in my house. I expected it to be easier, especially less stressful on a mental level. I realised how much I miss my family and friends and especially my everyday life.

I guess that the only advice I can give someone who wants to make this kind of choice is to go with the flow and follow your gut feeling. Moreover, I think it is fundamental to look for a place to live in as soon as you make the choice to leave your house and remember: LOOK FOR HOUSEMATES WITH WHOM YOU ARE SURE TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH (speaking from personal experience)"
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ilustration by Sofia A
Lara, from Milan to Heidelberg

"I spent six months as a Erasmus student in Heidelberg, Germany. Prior to my departure, I exclusively thought about how life as a student in Germany would allow me to come in closer contact with German culture and language. However, it turned out to be much more than that. It broadened my horizons, allowed me to make long lasting friendships and, most importantly, taught me how to rely on my own strengths and overcome my fears and nip my insecurities in the bud. I'd gladly recommend such an experience and I still remember my time in Germany fondly and with a bit of nostalgia."

So this is everything folks! I hope this article was useful and don't worry, you got this!