Antonella is one of our Essex students who studied abroad in Mexico in 2021-2022 and is now a Frontrunner in the Essex Abroad team. Antonella shares below what is important to know before going abroad…
“With great experiences come great responsibility. Maybe these were not the exacts words but make it a clear concept. Studying abroad is one important choice to make and regardless of how much you prepare for it, not everything will be as you were dreaming of. I’ve listed a couple of useful things I wish I had known before leaving:”
Socialising can be as easy or as difficult as back home. Local people will not treat you like any kind of mystical creature to worship or a species of endangered animal to protect. Although you are living the time of your life in another country, remember that it is ordinary life for local students. If you want to make friends, be brave and ask people to go out for coffee, have lunch together or show you around.
When living in another country with a possible limited budget and several expenses, it is easy to run out of money. That’s when budgeting becomes fundamental such as having savings apart in case extra costs comes out. Consider as well getting a part time job or an internship, when possible, which is also a good way to make friends.
You probably heard a TikTok which starts with the same message… Well, if you decide to go abroad that’s definitely a motto to bear in mind. Although you do need to manage your money the best way, do not let it limits your experiences. You are going to be a student in your 20s living in another country just once in a lifetime so make the best out of it.
We’re used to think that going abroad is all about having a fun and happy time, but the truth is that it is not always easy. Be ready to experience sad days, to miss family and friends, be prepared for things not to go as planned or imagined.
All these situations will help you finding your own balance in a new place which you will learn to feel like home.
My most important message…your experience is up to you: you can decide what to spend your time and energy on. But remember to embrace every moment and every emotion because that’s what is going to make you grow as a person and create memories.
If you are thinking of a year abroad and would like to know more about Essex Abroad programmes then visit our dedicated webpages.
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MA Translation student, University of Essex
I’m Antonella, I’m 21 and I’m from Italy. I moved to Essex in 2019 for my bachelor’s in Modern Languages and I’m currently taking my MA in translation. In 2021 I had the opportunity to go on my year abroad in Mexico and live the most incredible experience I could ever imagine.