Being able to study abroad is an amazing opportunity which you should want to make the most out of because you may not have the chance to experience a country in that circumstance again. Here are a few things that I did and I wish I did, which I think could help when making the most of your time studying abroad:
Choose modules wisely
Obviously, the main reason why you’re going abroad is to study however, you don’t want to study modules which are too difficult because you don’t want to be stressed out in the library when you could be relaxing on the beach. Instead, I think it’s wise to choose subjects that you are interested in and may not have the opportunity to study at your home university, if you have the freedom to, that way you benefit academically from studying abroad. Plus, you are likely to score higher when you actually enjoy your subject and it’s not too difficult.
Make a Bucket List
This is something I didn’t do but wish I did. A bucket list is definitely a good way of keeping track of the things you want to do because it ensures that you don’t leave out anything that you might have wanted to do. I didn’t do a lot of research into what there is to see in Australia; I basically just went with the flow and discovered things as I was there. I am pleased with what I’ve seen and what I’ve done in Australia however, I think that if I had a list, I may have discovered more things that I would’ve loved to have seen.
Join Student Societies!
I would really recommend joining a student society, especially one that you haven’t done before or that you don’t have at your home university. Joining a student society is a really good way to make friends especially native ones. If you join the exchange/international student’s society, you get to meet people from all over the world and go on (relatively) cheap trips which the society organises. When I was in Australia, I joined the a cappella student group on campus in my second semester and I literally had the best time ever. I made so much more Australian friends, which I didn’t really get to do in my first semester, and I had an experience which will forever be unique to Australia because I can’t do it at Leicester.
Volunteer or get a job/internship related to your future career
A lot of people will say that a placement year is more valuable than studying abroad just because you’re able to get relevant work experience which will make your CV look more attractive to employers. I personally didn’t want to spend a year of my life working before I graduate when I’m probably going to be working for the rest of my life anyway, which is why I chose to study abroad. However, I do think that it is a valid point, which is why I would definitely recommend trying to get some valuable experience whilst you’re studying abroad (if you can) whether it be volunteering, finding a part time internship or a job which relates to the industry you want to go in. I know a few people who found part time legal work and volunteering opportunities and friends who found part time marketing internships which they really benefitted from. I know for some industries it will be easier than others (finance is definitely harder) but I think if you can find something, it will definitely be beneficial.