Your year abroad goes by in the blink of an eye…
When it comes time to pack up your things and make that bittersweet journey home, there will still be a ton of things you wish you’d had time to do, places you wish you’d seen and moments you didn’t get a chance to experience.
So, to help make sure you make the absolute most of the last few days or weeks of your travels, we’ve compiled a ‘year abroad bucket list’ of sorts, so you can leave with no regrets and memories to last a lifetime.
Take a trip on your own
It’s tempting to spend the majority of your time with other students who are also doing travelling or on a year abroad. You’re all in the same boat and exploring your new surroundings together will be a great adventure.
But spending time alone is also really important during this one in a lifetime experience. Try to organise and plan a little trip by yourself. Whether it’s within your city or perhaps to a neighboring town, it will force you to gain a sense of true independence and will help improve your sense of direction too.
Talk to strangers
We know, you parents probably gave you a good warning about keeping yourself safe and staying away from strangers before you left. However, making friends with locals can help you experience the city on a deeper level as they introduce you to new places and new parts of the city that you never knew existed. It’s also a great way to develop your language skills.
Act like a local
Leave your dictionary at home and try your best not to speak English for one entire day. Act like a local by eating traditional food, ordering off a menu and even giving directions to tourists in a language that isn’t your mother tongue. This will help you build confidence and feel more at home.
Go to the cinema or to the theatre
Another method of immersing yourself in the language and culture of a new country is to go to the cinema or theatre. Even if you don’t have a clue what the show is about, you’ll feel a touch of pride when you understand even just a couple of words.
Take up a new hobby
Going to courses or classes is another great way to make more friends and learn more about your location. Try to pick up a hobby that you would never dream of trying at home. Remind yourself often that your year abroad is a one-off opportunity, you have nothing to lose and every second spent inside your comfort zone is a second wasted.
Find the best view in the city
And take one million Instagram pictures which you can use for every #ThrowbackThursday from now until eternity.
Learn the history of the city
So many students spend months in the same city without really exploring its culture, heritage. Even if you’re not the slightest bit interested in history, you’ll regret not learning more the city’s people and its past.
Visit all the main local tourist attractions to see what the fuss is about
Even if it seems like a massive chore, be sure to visit all of the main tourist attractions and hot spots. Drink in all the most popular bars, eat in all the famous bars and try out all the traditional cuisine. Who knows if you’ll ever get the chance to do it again?
Invite a friend from home to come and stay
It’s always great to invite a friend to your city to show them everything it has to offer. You’ll feel like such a pro when you’re able to effortlessly navigate your way through the town and show them all the coolest places. It will show you how far you’ve come.
Have an international romance
This isn’t compulsory, but having a brief but exciting international love affair is certainly one way to make your trip unforgettable.
Written by Lana Richardson, blog editor for Student Luggage Shipping Company, UniBaggage.com.