Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad

Lexa Pennington's picture

Studying abroad is more than just a fun experience - it is a great opportunity to enrich yourself with lessons that you wouldn’t learn at home. It gives you a chance to learn not only in another culture, but the chance to learn about and immerse yourself in another culture as well. 

However, it can be easy to squander this potential if you don’t use your opportunity to study abroad properly. With a little planning ahead and awareness of the opportunity you are being presented, though, you can easily make the most of your semester abroad. In this article, we are going to help you out by taking a look at 7 common mistakes to avoid when you are studying abroad. 

Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad

1. Forgetting to Check All Your Flight Dates and Information

When you are preparing to go on any big trip, organizing your travel plans can be stressful. Adding on the fact that you are getting ready for classes and dealing with the excitement over your upcoming semester abroad, it can be easy for things to slip through the cracks. 

To avoid any problems, it is best to double and even triple check the times and dates of your tickets to ensure that you don’t miss your flight. Remember, you will want to get to the airport well in advance so you don’t have to worry about any complications (those long linses!) or additional charges when you need to check your luggage and you can avoid missing your flight. 

2. Not Budgeting Appropriately and Partying Too Much

For many people, college and study abroad trips bring their first tastes of being solely responsible for their finances. As such, it is important that you plan your budget carefully. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t ever recreationally spend money - after all, you are partially in a new country to enjoy the experience. However, you should be careful to live and party within your means. 

Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad

3. Traveling Too Much and Skipping Classes

When you are studying abroad, the chance to explore and travel is a fantastic opportunity. This doesn’t mean, though, that you don’t have to complete the actual classes you are there for. If you spend all your time traveling and skip out on actual lecture time, you will quickly find yourself falling behind. The best way not to be overwhelmed by assignments is to keep up with your studies while you enjoy the scenery. 

If you do end up getting caught up in the mix of things and skipped a number of classes, the university's tutoring center can be of great help. However, in the off chance they are fully booked and you need someone to help write an essay for you, there are online services that can do that for you. The best thing to do is find a balance between satisfying your personal curiosity and getting good grades.

4. Not Interacting With The Local Culture and Learning The Language

When you are studying abroad, homesickness and shyness can sometimes take hold and tempt you to stay within the comforts of your school’s group. However, by doing this, you are missing a huge chance to interact with the locals. 

When you are in another country, it is a great chance to see and experience the culture firsthand. In addition, there is no better place to learn a language than from the place it originated! If you don’t interact with the people around you, though, you won’t have a chance to be enriched by this experience. 

Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad

5. Missing Orientation Day

For many students, orientation can be a little overwhelming or even just a chance to nap before the real adventure starts. However, your orientation can teach you valuable information - especially when you are in a foreign country. 

Odds are, if you want to know the best way to get around, the best places to eat, or the safest places to go at night, you will learn some of these facts at orientation. As such, you should take the time to attend all of orientation day so you can get your semester abroad kicked off right. 

Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad

6. Spending Too Much Time On Social Media

It is more than a little tempting to track your entire experience on social media so that your friends and family can see what you are up to. However, if you spend all your time on social media, you are bound to miss some of the day-to-day activities you could experience otherwise. Take a moment to focus on experiencing the world around you rather than trying to document it all in pictures and posts. 

7. Not Acquainting Yourself With Local Laws

Acquainting yourself with local laws will do more than just keep you out of potential trouble. In addition, knowing your rights in a foreign country and being able to contact emergency services if you need to can be absolutely crucial to your safety. This will become easier as you acquaint yourself with the city you’re in, but you can be preemptive and study the laws you will be abiding by a bit ahead of time. 

Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad


Where will you study abroad? I can't wait to hear about it!


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Top 7 Common Mistakes Made While Studying Abroad