Student life Travel

10 tips for a successful exchange semester abroad

BE FINANCIALLY READY

You need months or a year to prepare an exchange semester. Universities have realized that studying abroad has a price. For this reason, to promote the mobility of their students, they offer candidates numerous scholarships such as the Erasmus grant, the MENESR grant (Ministry of Higher Education and Research) or capital grants. Of course, if you are eligible, do not lose sight that it is only a complement. For most of them, you might receive the money in the middle or at the end of your stay.

FIND YOUR ACCOMMODATION BEFORE LEAVING

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As soon as you arrive, you will be overwhelmed by the administrative demands and will have few time for you. Save yourself the stress of finding an accomodation at this moment. Find it before leaving abroad. While doing your research, contact your host university or also former students who were there. Another solution may be to join groups of students/residents on social media.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CLASSES

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One of the chances of being a student in exchange is to be able to select each class. That’s why, my first advice is to choose only those for which you will have an interest. I speak from experience: there is nothing more unpleasant than taking a class that you’re not interested in and in a foreign language. Sometimes, it will be better to choose “interesting” but “simple” classes to validate your semester. And to finish, an advice for frequent travelers, not having class on Monday or Friday is great for travelling on weekends. So be smart about your choices! 

OPEN UP TO OTHERS

From a professional point of view, as soon as you get into the university, you start building your professional network. The person sitting next to you during business class could play a key role in getting your future job. Socialize, it’s free, and you’ll win friends!

JOIN A CLUB FROM YOUR HOST UNIVERSITY

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Any student who went on an exchange abroad will confirm this: once abroad, 80% of international students stay…. only with international students. That’s why, joining a club from your host university might be an opportunity to meet local students. Some universities also offer programs called buddies which connect their students with those in exchange.

AVOID THE COMMUNITARIANISM 

I am not asking you to be rude when you meet a compatriot! I’m just saying that being abroad and only staying between compatriots is not helpful. Abroad, everything will be new and you might be looking for benchmarks. In the context of studies abroad, it would be your compatriots. Do not fall into the trap! Not only the other students will judge you based on the clichés they have on your country, but it will make them less want to approach you.

SPEAK THE LANGUAGE 

After years of complaining about language classes during primary and secondary school, you have no more excuses! Living abroad is an unique opportunity to put into practice everything you have learned these recent years. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes while practicing, even natives do. 

BE CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR HOST COUNTRY 

Partying is good but being cultivated is just as important. Be curious, travel and exchange with the local population. You will grow from it in terms of culture, openness and self-discovery. This is what I call the school of life!

GET ON WELL WITH YOUR ROOMMATES 

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If you decide to share your accomodation, set the rules from the start to avoid any bad surprises. And if your roommates are also foreigners, take advantage of this and take the initiative to propose a weekly dinner where everyone would share a culinary specialties from their countries.

ENJOY, ENJOY AND ENJOY

Life is full of moments “once in a lifetime” and your university exchange is one of them. There might be times when you would be nostalgic about home. This is quite normal but don’t let these moments take over your experience abroad. Don’t forget that others would have liked to be in your position but you are the person who was chosen. So, create as many memories as possible.
Froholically, F.

(6) Comments

  1. Thanks for finally talking about >10 Tips For A Successful Exchange Semester Abroad I Froholique <Liked it!

    1. Froholique says:

      Hi Cyril! Thank you 😎

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    1. Froholique says:

      Hi there, glad you liked the post and THANKS for the support! 😀 Have a lovely day

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