helping children absorb and retain educational material

helping children absorb and retain educational material

Five Ways To Smooth The Transition When Studying Abroad

by Reginald Long

Studying abroad during high school is an exciting way to ensure a more rounded education. You likely know that you will need to begin applying for visas and passports, packing your bags, and saying goodbye to friends and family. There are also a few other tasks you should handle to make sure you transition smoothly into your host family and new school situation.

1. Memorize Your Program Requirements

Every study abroad program has different requirements for students. Examples of requirements include maintaining a certain grade point average, attending a certain amount of program extracurricular activities, or taking certain classes. Memorize these requirements before you leave so that you can more easily respond to invitations to activities. Otherwise, you may find yourself nearing the end of the study abroad experience with unmet requirements that have to be crammed into the last remaining days of your trip.

2. Know About Local Customs

Not only should you learn about the customs of the country you will be studying in, but you should also learn about the hyperlocal customs of where you will be living and attending school. For example, in some European towns, all the stores are closed on Mondays. This may be a problem if you arrive on a Monday with a plan to buy some of the items you need for your stay. Knowing local customs can also help you avoid faux pas and accidental insults to your host.

3. Learn Some Key Language Phrases

If you have no knowledge of the local language of your program, then take some time to learn at least a few key phrases. Being able to ask for directions or help, for example, is a must for both personal safety and peace of mind. Further, memorize the address and contact information for your host family so that if you are ever lost, it will be easier to find your way back.

4. Have a Medical Prep Plan

Insurance between your home country and the one where you will be studying can be tricky. You may need to purchase a special insurance plan to cover your health needs while abroad. It's also a good idea to take enough of any prescription medication you need to last for the length of your stay, if possible. Otherwise, make sure you know where you can procure necessary prescriptions in your study location.

5. Work Out Communication Details

Your cell phone may not work in your study country, or it may work but at a high cost due to international roaming charges. Research options for cell service before you leave. Sometimes the solution is as simple as installing a SIM card in the phone that is keyed to the country you are staying in.

Contact your study abroad counselor for a more detailed list of preparing for your program. Likewise, contact a program like A+ World Academy for more information. 


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helping children absorb and retain educational material

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