Picking up and moving your life to a new city is hard enough–let alone when that city is in a country thousands of miles away from everything you know! The good news is that there are multiple ways to combat the first couple days of homesickness and make the most of your first weeks abroad.
1. Get out there!
Seriously though. Go. Get outside and explore. The main point of studying abroad is that you’re getting to live in a new city, so go see it! Go see the tourist attractions because they are pretty sweet, but also go off the beaten path a little bit because that’s usually where the best stuff is. I promise: it’s actually easy and the best way to go is by walking. You don’t always have to have a plan. Not only do you get some good exercise so you can eat that extra croissant, but you get to see the beautiful new city you’re living in and your getting your bearings, which this leads me to my next topic.
2. Find that inner compass
This coming from the person with absolutely no sense of direction but it truly is essential. For me I knew when I decided to move to Barcelona I was going to have to force myself to get my bearings. For me that meant learning that the mountains are to the north, and the sea is to the south. Please, please, please take the time in the beginning to figure this out because it will save you a lot of hassle in the future. Caution: it will be frustrating and you will get lost but remain calm and realize that it’s all a part of the process. You will find your way!
3. HAVE FUN!
As you explore your new city and find your inner compass, it is inevitable that you will have fun. Enjoyment in exploration is what this whole experience is about isn’t it? Creating life long memories and an unforgettable experiences? Absolutely! Go try new restaurants, bars, shop a little bit, and most of all be open to new people and experiences! There is nothing better than having people to share these once in a lifetime opportunities with!
Now go forth and make this the experience of a lifetime!
Want to read more about Barca? Check out “Video Blog – Barcelona: First Impressions”