Alumni Advice: Don’t Let “Likes” Dominate Your Abroad Experience
Technology dominates our life. There’s no way to avoid it, but there is a way to manage it. Technology can make studying abroad a lot easier. It allows you to easily connect with people at home and it makes navigating around a foreign city a lot easier. But technology, specifically social media, should not dictate your time abroad. Because technology is everywhere it is easy to get sucked into, but it is important to not be totally dependent on it. It is tempting to spend days in your room watching Netflix or scroll constantly through your newsfeed, but shutting the computer and going out to explore is one of the best ways to learn about other cultures. Although you must make sure you are safe, going out and physically immersing yourself in the culture you are living in allows you to connect with that culture and learn. Studying abroad can be one of the best experiences of your life, but to create memories and experiences you have to go out and get them. Forcing yourself outside of your comfort zone and taking chances allows you to have experiences you never thought possible and create the memories that will last a lifetime.
Studying abroad is not a competition of who is having the best time or who can get the most likes on a photo. Each study abroad experience is different and personalized.Students often feel they need to prove to their friends at home that they are having a great time abroad. They see other students studying abroad posting pictures of themselves on Facebook and Instagram that look like they’re having an amazing time, and they feel pressure to do the same. Studying abroad is not a competition of who is having the best time or who can get the most likes on a photo. Each study abroad experience is different and personalized. Doing things for others stops you from doing things for yourself. If you do things solely for the photo that it will produce, you are limiting your spontaneity. Putting down the phone and enjoying the moment without a screen in front of your face allows you to create memories that you will never forget. By always focusing on finding wifi or choosing which filter you are going to use, you can miss out on the spontaneous moments that will shape your abroad experience.