6 Worst Mistakes Students Make While Studying Abroad

October 28, 2020

6 Worst Mistakes Students Make While Studying Abroad

Going abroad as a student for your further education can be incredibly daunting and stressful as you’ll want to soak up as much as you can while adjusting to a new environment. When you first move overseas to study as an undergraduate, you can be anxious and overwhelmed by the city and it takes time to adjust. However, there are many mistakes students make while studying or making plans to study abroad.

While studying abroad for a few years there are numerous things to experience and learn from the new country which many students fail to do. But when you return home you should be back with a fresh outlook and stories to tell for years to come.

Spending a semester in a study abroad program or studying overseas for a year or two is a once in a lifetime experience. As such, you should always make sure that you are making the right decisions to take full advantage of this opportunity. Below are a few common mistakes students make while studying abroad that you should avoid, having the best experience possible.

mistakes students make while studying abroad

Not Learning the Local Language

Brushing up on convenient phrases before you go gives you a great head start while moving abroad, but communicating with locals is a great way to truly master a language. Convincing yourself to speak the local language with everyone from your barista to the shopkeeper will make you comfortable with the language complexities, slang, vernacular, and everything that you can’t learn as easily in a classroom.

Though it may also be exciting to let them practice their English with you, as you’ll gain a much more enriching experience and learn more from them in their native language. Always remember learning a language takes time and you may screw up from time to time, but locals absolutely appreciate the effort.

Connecting only with Students from Your Home Country

Several Anglophone students can be encouraging companions while living and studying overseas, especially when it comes to coping up with the same cultural barriers and red-tape bureaucracy. Reaching out and trying to connect with students from the country where you are studying is the key to truly experiencing a new country. It also uncovers you the fascinating cultural practices and trivia that only a native would know.

These friendships are also a stress-free way to practice a new language with someone who can correct your blunders and pronunciation over a few glasses of wine. Isn’t this way better than the classroom anyway?

Visiting only the Mega-Chains 

Though a venti caramel macchiato may be the best cure for your homesickness, at the same time it can also prevent you from going places off the beaten path and discovering new things. This is one of the most common mistakes students make while studying abroad.

Cities abroad have their rich cafe culture that changes based on where you are and sticking with what you know could stop you from drinking an espresso quickly at a counter or dipping churros in melted chocolate. Though the food chains you are familiar with may be a great quick lunch or late-night snack, a baguette grilled sandwich or a seekh kebab is so much better.

Traveling Too Much

Another one of the most common mistakes students make while studying abroad is making too many travel plans. With several low-cost airlines and train routes available, it can be enticing to pack your bags and travel to another nearby city as soon as the weekend hits. At times, this constant traveling can mean that you lose out on experiencing what your current city offers in terms of entertainment, nightlife, and exciting weekend activities.

Maybe there is a small open-air market at the end of your block on weekend mornings, or a club that transforms into a concert venue on weekends. Staying put more than constant traveling gives a much deeper experience of a city and its culture. It’ll also help you build deeper friendships with people you’ve met in town.

mistakes students make while studying abroad

Not traveling enough

Don’t you think it is disappointing to be an hour’s flight from Rome and miss the opportunity to take it? Prioritizing a few trips you’d really want to take while you are studying abroad is a great way to narrow down the cities you are fascinated to visit.

Traveling less frequently also means that your budget can stretch a little further, and you can hog on the best cultural food of the city who were planning for long or can order that pretty dress that is waiting on your wishlist for weeks. 

Balancing Classroom Learning & Cultural Immersion

The best study abroad programs incorporate classroom lessons with real-life applications for the city you’re in. This ranges from literature to theatre to film and can help you experience the city from a cultural and historical point of view.

While you are of course studying abroad to learn, don’t let the homework overwhelm you to the point that you never get the chance to experience the city around you. Just walking around the streets and interacting with locals can sometimes be the best learning experience there is. Always try your best to maintain the balance between both.

The most crucial thing to keep in mind as you move overseas to study abroad is to have an open mind and stay flexible when things don’t go as planned and there are chances that quite often, things won’t go as planned. Locals will acknowledge your effort to adapt to their culture and are often willing to teach you things along the way and you should always appreciate that. It can definitely be stressful and also scary moving to a foreign country all by yourself, but the experiences you’ll gain will make it all worth it!

Thanks for reading this blog on Mistakes Students Make While Studying Abroad That You Should Avoid. If you enjoyed reading this blog then do check out our following international exam blogs as well. 


MuskanWitten by Muskan The name is Muskan, so probably was destined to spread smiles wherever I go. Writing is something which has grown on me with each passing day. Follow your passion in saying is a cliché but in doing is serious fun. So here I am to engage with my passion and maybe spread some smiles along the way.
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