A semester spent abroad is a great way to travel on the cheap, racking up tons of awesome new experiences and making a ton of great new friends while you see the world on an especially easy going budget. There’s a lot to love when it comes to studying abroad, and when you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture like this, it’s a really smart idea to jump at the opportunity. There’s a whole lot that goes into a trip like this, too. You’ve got to make sure you’re prepared for the fact that you’re going to be in school the whole time you’re gone, while also making sure that you are able to see all the important sights and do everything that you’re supposed to do so you don’t come back feeling like you just wrapped up a completely wasted opportunity. With all these moving parts to be taking care of, it can be especially tough integrating yourself socially when you’re in a brand new country. This is doubly true if you don’t speak the language. What’s there to do when you’re having a tough time getting out and meeting new people in the first place? When you don’t speak the mother tongue, you can’t exactly walk up to strangers and introduce yourself, but there are definitely a few strategies that you can employ to get yourself a little better assimilated. Bridging a language barrier is pretty tough if you don’t have anything in the way of a go-between. Should you be completely illiterate in terms of the place where you’re staying and its native tongue, one of the first, and probably smartest things you should do is find an interpreter. If you’re looking to assimilate, then you probably want to find someone that’s close to you in age or interest, so you can have an easier time finding stuff to do and really interesting people to do it with.
Pairing up with the right interpreter is definitely one of the first steps, and it also helps to make sure you do your research before you go. Absorb as much as you can about the local culture and customs, so that you don’t accidentally embarrass yourself or offend anybody when you arrive. If you’re going to be gone for months at a time, you really need to do your due diligence and brush up on the local language. Going to a new country unprepared like that is just a little bit irresponsible. This will also help you find the best places to learn in your chosen area, so you can make sure you’re putting yourself in the best therapy schools, or whatever it is you wish to study. Heading to a new country can be pretty daunting, but the more prepared you are, the more that feeling of being daunted turns into one of complete excitement. Just a few easy steps are all you’ll need to take care of to make sure you have an easy time fitting in when you head out for an exciting semester abroad.