If you’re headed to a foreign country for work, study or even leisure, it’s important that you prepare yourself for a whole new world. Everything will be different, and whether you’re studying in Spain or somewhere else entirely, you’ll need to adjust to local life. Here are five tips for survival as you study in other country.
1. Know the Language
This is easier said than done, of course, but certified Spanish language courses can go a long way in improving your fluency. Even if you can only speak elementary phrases at first, they’ll help you a lot during your first few days in Spain. You’ll be able to ask simple questions, understand basic answers and communicate in a general fashion as you continue to study the language on a deeper level at a language school.
2. Exchange Your Money
You’ll need spending money as you study abroad, so unless you’re using an international credit card, this means exchangingyour currency for local currency. If you’re in Spain, for example, you’ll need to exchange your dollars for euros. Try to do this as soon as you arrive so that you’ll have money right away for things like taxis and hotels.
3. Understand Local Transportation
Speaking of taxis, you’ll need a way to get around the country while you study in other country. What will you choose? If you have the right credentials, you might be able to rent or buy a car; if you’re looking to save money, public transportation might come in the form of buses, trains and subways. Do your research before you travel to your destination so that you won’t waste money once you’re there.
4. Study Local Customs
Some countries have unwritten rules for etiquette and behavior. In Japan, for example, it’s considered rude to cross your chopsticks over your bowl; that’s an action reserved for funerals. In Spain, it’s common for men and women to kiss each other on the cheek during greetings and farewells. Understanding local customs can help prevent surprises and embarrassments as you study abroad.
5. Keep Your Paperwork Handy
Never leave home without your personal ID. Depending on your destination, you might also want to carry around your visa, passport or general travel papers. This will ensure that you’re always prepared for an emergency, and as a bonus, you might receive extra help from the locals if they understand that you’re studying abroad as a foreigner.