Mistakes I made while studying abroad; and how you can avoid them.
I brought way too much stuff. I brought a workout DVD. Like, why would I do that? There were enough clothes to get me through a year of living abroad. I brought a suitcase which I believe is incredibly unnecessary. Now, I always travel with a backpack and never check bags. Avoid this by packing enough for one week with a couple of going out attire. I would also suggest reading blogs about packing tips there are plenty of them.
I spent way too much on flights. I think I spent $1600 round trip from Lubbock to Madrid. Now I explore different options; for example: fly into Dublin then take a plane to Seville. Here are some tips for finding low cost flights to Europe and how to fly Ryan Air when in Europe. Avoid this by looking at your options; consider flying out of New York and buying a domestic ticket to fly into LGA.
I didn’t make a good connection with my host mom. I’m going back to Seville this summer and I wish that I could go back and see her, but I honestly don’t remember her name and haven’t kept in contact with her. I got in trouble a couple of times for late night Skype calls and I didn’t really try to speak Spanish. I didn’t try hard enough to appreciate and be a part of the culture in Seville.
I didn’t make a good connection with others in my program. My S.O. at the time was in the same program and I did not really branch out. I wish I had gone by myself and made better connections with the people that were there with me. However, I did make a few friends, but not as many as I could have. I didn’t go out at night or really talk to anyone else until it was almost over.
I didn’t get lost. Getting lost in a city is one of my favorite activities. I spent a month here and didn’t explore as much as I could have nor did I explore on my own. Such a shame. Thankfully, I’ll get another chance to get lost in Seville soon.
What I did right…
I went! Y’all, just go. The biggest mistake you can make is to not go. If you don’t have a heart for travel begin with studying abroad. If you have a heart for travel, study abroad. Universities help make it affordable. Studying abroad changed my life forever and I am incredibly grateful that I went and incredibly grateful for Texas Tech University for having a ton of opportunities.