Former Study Abroad Students Give Advice to First-Time Travelers

Many students choose to study abroad without ever having even traveled abroad. Going abroad for the first time can be scary. We asked some of our current student Global Ambassadors, who have recently returned from studying abroad, what advice would they give to someone going abroad for the first time.

Here’s what they said:


Do not be afraid to travel alone. This is will help you grow, and you will be able to create memories entirely your own. It helped me accept myself a little bit more, since I could not hide behind anything or anyone. Be sure to pack some essentials in your carry on such as one day’s worth of clothes, and a tooth brush and toothpaste. You never know if your luggage will get lost! – Becky Karl – Sevilla, Spain

Don’t be afraid to dive in head first and immerse yourself in your city’s culture! Make local friends, try local foods, and do as the natives do! – Lauren Mitchell – Spain and Italy

Stay open-minded. You will be entering a totally new culture so it is best to embrace every change and every challenge with open arms. – Karlee Kaltz – London, England

Do not to be nervous- the ISA staff is super helpful and assists you with everything you need to know while abroad. – Carli Delecki – Salamanca, Spain

Have an open mind, try new things, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. – Jade Oakes – Cusco, Peru

Don’t keep all your money in one place, and don’t loose your passport while you’re abroad! (speaking from experience) – Cahner Olson, Paris, France

Appreciate the difference between the cultures. There is so much to learn about the different foods, traditions, street life, music, and many other factors when you are in a different country. Embrace these differences so you can learn a new appreciation for not just this country, but also your own! Go about your travels with an open mind and you will find yourself gaining a more fulfilling experience this way. – Jillian Salerno – Rome, Italy

Have no fear! Things might be tricky at first, but you WILL get the hang of it. Even the mishaps — and there will be mishaps — will make you a better traveler, and the feeling of accomplishment you get from traveling on your own is SO worth it! Nothing makes you feel more independent and capable than successfully navigating a foreign country on your own. – Vanessa Restifo – Cusco, Peru


What’s your advice for the first time international traveler? Leave a comment below. 

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