The possibilities are endless when you go to a foreign country. Of course, there is a huge difference between visiting a country as a tourist and as an exchange student. Studying abroad implies at least a three-month stay in your exchange country. There’s so much that could happen within that time frame. At the same time, there’s so much that you can do.
Having travel and health insurance as an abroad student could save you from a lot of potential trouble. It can also clear your mind since you’re a tad bit more confident that there is a safety net in case of any mishaps. Now that you’re free to move out and about, here are a few things that you might want to do when you’re studying abroad (outside studying, that is.):
1. Drop by tourist spots
Almost all cities have a go-to place for tourists. Getting to these attractions can help you take your mind off of your academic load and make you feel as if you’re on vacation. These places can also be a hotpot of different cultures as they might be buzzing with other foreigners.
2. Make friends with locals
If you’re on an exchange program, you might have a host family. Connecting with them can help you understand their culture, and it’s quite an enriching experience. The locals would also be the best sources for the secret routes, the best restaurants, the hidden boutiques, and more. Having a local companion can also ease your move into the country a lot quicker. They can help translate the language for you when you come across vendors who do not speak English; they can teach you the do’s and don’t’s in the school that you’re attending; they can even teach you their culture’s etiquette and rescue you from offending anyone.
3. Try to learn the language
Learning a language is value-adding to the individual both in terms of his relationship with himself and his relationship with society.
The former deals with the intellectually challenging aspect of learning a language. It trains a part of your brain that could have been very much stagnant for a long time. A culture’s language is also a gateway to fully immersing yourself into their culture. Linguists say that a language is usually the way it is because of how the language’s society works.
On the other hand, the latter helps the individual create more meaningful relationships with its foreign company. A person would be more perceptive and welcoming of a foreigner if the foreigner takes active steps in learning the person’s native language. It somehow creates a sense of sincerity that serves as a bridge for the two to connect.
4. Eat, eat, and eat
Make it a point that you get to try local dishes. Much like learning a language, eating local meals can help introduce you to the culture. If you’re scared to try out something new, try to make a list starting from the must-haves down to the less popular ones. This way, you can be sure that you’re going to have something good at one point since must-haves are widely loved while widening your taste palette with less famous food.
Taking a bold step forward is an essential move whenever you’re trying to expand your circle of influence, especially in a foreign country. As abroad students, being covered by health insurance can help you take that step with confidence.