Time for an Adventure – Your Semester Abroad!

Time for an Adventure – Your Semester Abroad!



There is this certain adventure spirit in all of us. From time to time, we're all dreaming of an adventure.

Maybe it awakens when you’re seeing ads for adventure holidays. Perhaps watching epic fantasy films makes you wanna go out and explore. Or the wanderlust arises when watching travel vlogs on YouTube. Something aside from the things we’re so used to. If you can somehow identify with that, you should definitely consider a semester abroad! Maybe you want to simply get out into the world, perhaps you want to learn about a specific culture; or maybe your studies even require you to spend time in a different country. No matter what the reason is: An adventure is approaching, and I have collected some tips!

So many Advantages

Let’s take a moment and zoom in on the benefits you can get from some time away from home. While it is quite obvious that you are going to learn a new language (or better your knowledge of one that you already speak), first-hand experiences in another culture also come with personal growth. (Sometimes it takes a while to realise that until you get the chance to compare what has changed.) Especially regarding your studies, a semester abroad makes for a more global perspective. It might help you understand connections in a new way or allow you to approach topics from a different point of view than before. But it’s not all about changing your own take on things. A semester abroad allows you to meet people with diverse backgrounds, maybe with completely different lives than yours. And these are the people we can learn from the most!

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Oh, and not to forget: Of course, a semester abroad looks good on your CV; that just can’t be denied. It shows courage, open-mindedness, and independence. If employers don’t look out for that, then I don’t know any more.

And if you close your eyes and dream a bit of the things you are going to see and the adventure waiting for you… the excitement is somehow its own kind of advantage.

Prepared for Anything?

To make sure you really are “prepared for anything,” start planning as early as possible! If you know you want to study abroad for a while, start planning now. There is much to do. Also, a great aspect of planning early is that you can feel hyped for your adventure. (In Germany, there is a saying that basically says, “Looking forward to something is the best kind of joy!”)

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I said there is much to do, didn’t I? Here are some examples: If you have no clue about the country you’re going to visit, change that! Start learning the language, research the culture and things you want to see or do during your stay. Take care of the paperwork sooner rather than later! Having your passport and visa at hand early is a huge advantage when it comes to reducing stress. Especially if you have to wait for documents in the mail. If you travel with a study-abroad organisation, they will have a lot of viable information for you. Their events help you keep track of paperwork, medical checkups, and costs.

Apropos costs, studying abroad can be quite expensive! If you are already waist deep into preparations and research: Look out for scholarships! There might be programmes to financially help you with housing, travel, or general study costs. (An article on scholarships, especially, is already in planning. Gaining insight on the requirements and bureaucracy can be… well, annoying to absolutely frustrating.) No matter if it’s funded or not, it’s a good thing to have a budget for the time abroad. Save money in advance and plan your expenses as well as possible; it will save you a lot of stress.

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Oh, and do you know what will save you stress too? Organising where you will live after your stay abroad! This may seem a little stiff at first, but knowing where you’re going to live will save you a lot of insecurities. Do you want to return to your home or find a new one? If you are spending one semester abroad, chances are high that you want to return to your apartment afterwards. Therefore, you can sublease your THE FIZZ apartment! This isn’t even that complicated, it’s just important to clarify everything with your landlord and new tenant. Here you can find information on subleasing your THE FIZZ apartment. (link)

Enjoy the time!

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life, so make sure to get the most out of that time! That does not mean that you have to go on all the crazy-sounding adventures, many memories hide behind the most everyday things.

  • Make strolls through the city, go shopping, or visit what locals deem the best takeaway. Take the time to go out and get to know the culture. What is the daily life like?
  • See landmarks, go on breathtaking hikes, or take that loong bus tour to visit the one place you always dreamed of. Plan in time to travel! But don’t skip university for the sake of getting around, you are there to study after all. Travelling is more fun anyway if you don’t have the nagging thought of “I need to do this assignment” in the back of your mind!
  • If you get the chance, don’t be shy about planning a solo trip. A semester abroad comes with a rare kind of freedom, and if we dare to go out into the world on our own, we end up learning more than we would have expected. (I feel like I sound wiser than I really am here… but I still believe in solo travel power!)
Foto von Nina Uhlikova via Pexels

When planning your adventure, one thing might be forgotten very quickly: A semester abroad is sometimes really hard and overwhelming. Things will not always work out the way you want them to. Culture shock and homesickness are heavy things from time to time. So, a very important tip I have for you is to give yourself time. Yes, take a step out of your comfort zone, and yes, make new experiences. But you don’t need to enjoy everything right away or at all times. Go on an adventure in your style and take the time you need to get used to all the changes.

And lastly, document your time! In which way? That does not matter! Photos, videos, drawings, journal pages, or long audios for friends and family—whatever you like. But make sure to grab a hold of those memories, you’re gonna be glad that you did later on! It will give you the chance to look back at the time and at all the things you’ve learned.

All in All…

… a semester abroad is a huge opportunity to grow. In terms of your studies, your world view, and your experiences. Some facets might be difficult to deal with, and some others might offer the best moments of your life.

Enjoy your time!

All photo rights by International Campus GmbH.