If you have a friend or two who had studied abroad, you might have heard the amazing experience they had. Everything was good and they have an infinite amount of stories and pictures to show everyone! But what if they didn’t tell you everything about studying abroad? Today we are going to talk about exactly that.
Before I continue with this article, bear in mind that studying abroad is really amazing and I believe everyone should have an experience abroad. However, studying abroad isn’t always as easy, pleasant or magical as it appears.
1. You actually do have to study
If you chose to study in Portugal, teachers normally will be easier on Erasmus students. Given that kind of hindsight, you still need to study and go to classes. Teachers will give you less stress and homework to the ones who are always in their classes.
From my own experience, I had friends who didn’t go to classes and couldn’t finish the semester because they fell behind. It’s really easy to get caught up in the experience and fall behind. Don’t let your friends fool you for believing that school it’s really relaxed.
2. You might not like it
Most of Erasmus students loved their semester abroad. However, that are few outliers who don’t like the experience. Living a semester abroad isn’t for everyone and, of course, some even return home before the 3 minimum required months. Adjusting to a different culture and being alone might not be for everyone. Remember to think that there’s no problem with it, and you will get a valuable experience nevertheless.
3. You will spend a LOT of money
WOW! Did I lose money while I was drunk? Where was my mind when I spent 50€ on a flight to Budapest or Prague. Ok, you might receive an Erasmus grant and the cost of living might be the same in your home city, but even then the money flies out of your wallet.
I promise you that you will spend a lot of money if you decide to travel or go out at night during your semester abroad. Of course, you might plan, but even then you seem not to have enough money till the end of the month. Top tip: Save as much money as possible before you go on Erasmus or bring even more money than you need.
4. You might-and probably will get homesick
A semester abroad might be the most time you will be away from home, and you might not be used to it. Even if you go to study in another city you are never more than 4 hours away from home. This is not the case during your Erasmus. You might be on a different timezone and the memories will give sooner or later.
Please remember that this is okay and perfectly normal. You can check some tips in a post here.
5. Culture shock- it’s real
There are stages that describe this phenomena:
- The Honeymoon Stage – You’ll fall in love and be fascinated by all aspects of your new temporary home;
- The Frustration Stage – Little things like getting lost, not knowing the foreign language or getting lost will affect you;
- The Adjustment Stage – You might get new local friends to know more about their culture;
6. Reverse culture shock
You might feel that home is no longer home, and you might feel that living in your Erasmus city or country might make you happier than your home country. You will try to be an expat in the future and you will face post-Erasmus depression. Returning home to your old friend, old school and old house might not pass so easily.
7. Bad things still happen
Things aren’t always perfect. You might not accept that, but you need to. Chances are that you will experience bad things like getting pickpocketed, sick, lost or just random things. Remember that you are growing inside and, what doesn’t kills you, makes you stronger. You might not learn so much from school, but you will learn important things like cooking, planning or just living your life alone.
8. Studying abroad will be one of the best experiences of your life
You might experience better things in your life, but receiving money for studying and discovering a new country makes it one of the best. If you studied abroad yourself, you will know what I mean.