Monday, 14 July 2014

Young, free and expat

Being an expat student has to be one of the best expat experiences possible! You’re young and free with fewer commitments and a hunger to learn. In fact there is so much potential for exploration that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With all that in mind, here are our tips to getting the most out of this unbelievable opportunity.

Image: creativecommons/TheLEAFProject

Sort your finances in advance
As a student, you’re unlikely to have a lot of cash whilst abroad so make sure you sort out how you’re going to pay for your time abroad before you leave. If you’ll depend on a part-time job whilst studying, talk to your university in advance to get something lined up. We’ve all relied on the bank of Mum and Dad from time to time, but try to ensure you have your own contingency fund ready – just in case.

Live with other students
Living in university halls is a great way of meeting other students and immersing yourself in the student culture. Many unis will group expats together with a single corridor representing the four corners of the globe. Treat it as a whistle stop tour of the world and inspiration for future expat jaunts! Once it’s time to move out of your student digs take the opportunity to move in with the local students. Once you’ve got a real taste for the local style of life you might never want to leave! Talking of which…

Image: creativecommons/TheLEAFProject

Get to know the local students, not just the other expats!
Friendships with other expats can become lifelong bonds, but remember you’re here to experience the local culture! The local people will know the best (and cheapest!) bars, caf├ęs and cultural hotspots. They can introduce you to their friends and take you to the places no one else knows. If you want to learn the language, why don’t you also set up a weekly language exchange with a local student from the university? It’s free for both of you and it’s just another way to make more friends!

For more helpful hints, check out our Hints and Tips tool, and if you’ve already moved abroad, why don’t you add your own?

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