IFSA students share their game-changing advice for others heading off for new experiences.
Start on the Right Foot
“Don’t miss out on the orientation events that will be going on in the first days and weeks of the program,” says Shane C., who studied at London’s University of Westminster. “It’s a great way to learn some important information as well as meet new people.”
Stay with a Host Family (if it’s an option)
“This was by far where my Spanish improved the most,” says Katie M., who completed the IFSA Mérida Universities program in Mexico. “It also gives you someone who will look out for you while you’re abroad and give you recommendations for things to do. It was instrumental to my experience.”
Join a Club or Volunteer
“I joined the jazz society, which was a great way to meet people with common interests and communicate through music,” says Preston I., after his semester in London at King’s College.
If you program is based in an urban center, “Visit the little towns and coastal towns around your city,” says Victoria H., who studied at University College Cork. “You’re more likely to visit major cities in Europe in the future but maybe not the smaller, quaint towns, which have some of the most beautiful sceneries you’ll ever see.”
Put Yourself Out There
“It might seem easier to stay in your comfort zone,” says Emma B. following her time at Hertford College, Oxford, “But I really recommend branching out.” Join group chats and Facebook groups. It will help you so much in meeting people and making new friends,” advises Julia R., who studied sat University of Edinburgh. “Say yes to things!”