Being an exchange student is a great way to experience a new culture while continuing your education. It can be an exciting and rewarding opportunity, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before making the decision to become an exchange student. But with a positive attitude and a little bit of preparation, you’re sure to have an amazing experience! Below, we’re going to share a few things that you can do to really get the most out of your time as an exchange student, so let’s get straight into it!
Get Yourself Good Accommodation
Exchange student programs are an amazing way to immerse yourself in a new culture while continuing your education. An important part of a successful experience is having comfortable and secure housing that meets your individual needs. Most programs have a diverse range of student accommodation options such as living with a host family, renting an apartment, or living in a dormitory, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option to determine what will best suit your needs, and get your accommodation arranged before you leave so that you are able to get into it as soon as you arrive and start to adjust to your new life.
Extended-stays in hotels can be a great option for exchange students who are only staying for a term, as they provide an all-in-one living space without the commitment of a lease. These hotels are also an excellent option for exchange students looking for more privacy than what is offered in a shared living environment. In addition to providing complete privacy, places like the Roost Extended Stay Studio Apartments also provide a great range of amenities such as kitchenettes, laundry facilities and on-site recreational activities for guests to make use of.
Attend All Of Your Classes
Exchange students are afforded a unique opportunity to not just experience a new culture, but also continue their education and gain insight into foreign societies. In order to make the most of this experience, it is important that you attend all of your classes, as these are essential opportunities that allow you to learn about, and understand, the new cultural context of where you have come to. In-class activities such as classroom discussions, presentations, lectures, and field trips can provide invaluable insight into different lifestyles and perspectives.
You will be better able to connect with your peers if you take the time to get to know them, which can be done through attending social events and gatherings, participating in school activities and clubs, or simply taking the time to socialize with peers in between classes. Making friends during an exchange student experience is essential to truly understand the culture and make the most out of the experience, as you will gain insight into customs and beliefs that you may never have learnt about before. New friendships can also help foster a sense of belonging in a foreign environment.
Make The Most Of Student Life
Student life in a country other than your own can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as you get the chance to not only continue your education, but also learn about a completely different culture. Therefore, you should make a point of saying yes to as many things as possible. As an exchange student, it’s important to take full advantage of the opportunity you have been given and make the most of your stay in a foreign country. Doing so can enrich your experience in ways you may not even realize until after you have returned home.
As an exchange student, you can also use your unique position to share your cultural background with those around you. While it’s important to be open to new experiences and the culture of where you are staying, don’t forget that you have a lot to offer too! Invite people over to learn about where you come from and show them pictures, items from home, etc, to really paint a picture of your life. You could even organize a potluck and get your new friends to join in on the event and bring dishes from their own cultures as well, giving a chance to taste and enjoy food from different cultural backgrounds.
Look After Your Physical And Mental Health
An opportunity like an exchange can be such a life-changing event, but it can also put immense physical and mental strain on the participant. It is therefore important for those looking to embark on an exchange program to look after their physical and mental health. The experience of living in a new country can be overwhelming, especially if the language or culture is very different from what you are used to, and it is essential to build a support system around yourself so that, if you are struggling, you know who you can reach out to for some guidance.
It is also important to look after your body while taking part in an exchange program. Eating healthy, balanced meals and getting plenty of rest are essential for maintaining both mental and physical wellbeing. At first, it may be difficult to adjust to the different customs and traditions of a new culture and you may find yourself feeling out of place. However, this is all part of the learning experience and by putting yourself in unfamiliar situations, you can develop greater understanding and appreciation for another culture, and you’ll have so many wonderful stories to tell when you return home.
Being an exchange student is a great way to experience a new culture while continuing your education. You get to learn about the customs and traditions of another country, all while still getting to attend school and continue with your studies. It can be a little challenging sometimes adjusting to a new place and making friends, but in the end it’s definitely worth it. Have you ever been an exchange student? If so, we want to hear from you! Share your experiences in the comments below.