Chloe, our Canadian and Limerick Institute of Technology Ambassador, shares her top tips for studying abroad…

Travelling abroad to study has only become really become popular within the last 10-15 years, so it is a relatively new idea and trend. A lot of young students may be hesitant to leave their families let alone their countries for the first time, for an extended period of time. I understand it may be difficult at times because nowhere in the world will be the same as home but my recommendation is to embrace the moment, take it all in, and remember your family can always come and visit you. It’s a small world after all!

Get involved

What you put into life, whether it be a school project, a sport, a relationship, anything, is what you’re going to get out of it. If you want to accomplish something or create amazing memories from your experience studying abroad, than I highly suggest getting involved and making the most out of every situation. Whether this be joining a sports team, a club/society in your college, volunteering at a local event, or tagging along with some friends to go grab a few drinks. These will be some of the greatest experiences of your times studying abroad and creating lasting friendships which leads to number two…

Take advantage

This may sound worse than I intend but take advantage of your friendships you make and remember to also offer what you ask for, simply a place to stay with some great company. If you have a friend who lives halfway across the world ask to go and visit them, see where they’re from to learn about their way of life, eat their local food, experience their day-to-day lifestyle but always make sure to give the same in return as that is only fair and respectful.

Be more open minded

Try not to be so quick to make a statement or comment and be more open to ideas and ways of doing things. Ireland was more of a transition than I thought it was going to be as many things are done very differently from home but just be accepting of the differences and you will enjoy your time a lot better. Try not to sweat the small stuff because normally everything will work itself out in the end. If it was meant to be it will be.

Embrace the moment

We always look back on memories whether they are positive ones or negative ones. We look back on the good times and wish we could rewind to enjoy them again but the negative memories are ones that we don’t want to remember but can often times learn from them and move forward. We find ourselves getting caught up in exciting future events that are to come and losing sight of what is right in front of us. I suggest really trying to embrace your surroundings, embrace the moment, the smells, and the sights, everything there is around you. Remind yourself how grateful and lucky you are to have these opportunities presented to you. You have worked hard somewhere down the line for them and don’t forget to enjoy it while it lasts.

Since coming to Ireland I have tried very hard to follow these four tips as I believe they are the most important tips to really enjoying your time as an international student as well as just enjoying life in general. Have you got any tips or questions? Let me know if the comment section.