In this week's post, Elizabeth shares five ways fellow students can deal with a new semester and city as they study abroad.
Seeing double decker buses on every road, being walking distance from the heart of a city, and figuring out how to make a schedule in a completely new country are a few of the things that one is required to adjust to in their first few days in Ireland. Here is a list of a few tips of how to adjust to your new country when studying abroad!
1. Meet new people
When you first arrive in your new country, you will meet a group of other CAPA students that feel the exact same way: tired, excited, and hungry. Over the first few days you will have multiple opportunities to meet other students and explore the city together. My group decided to make a really large group chat for people to make trips and plans. When you first arrive you will want to check in with your family and friends to let them know you are safe. Although it is important to inform your family of your travels, remember to take a break from your phone and talk to the people around you. It will help with homesickness and not live digitally at home.
2. Settle into your room
One of the first things I did once we arrived at Griffith College was unpack my suitcases. Although this point seems quite small, I felt more comfortable once my suitcases were unpacked. Putting away your clothes and shoes make it seem less like a temporary room and more like a home. After traveling for many hours, it is nice to arrive in a place that you can call your own. The sooner you put your clothes away, the less you have to living out of a suitcase. Living out of a suitcase can never be enjoyable, after you finish unpacking you can start to fully adjust to your new home.
Once you are settled, start to explore your local neighborhood and city. On the first day my friends and I went for a walk around the area. During our walk we found grocery stores, cafes, and street art! Every day we venture into the city more and saw the different aspects of Dublin. Yes, this includes stopping to try new food!
4. Talk to locals
Whether you are walking down the street or sitting on the bus, there is always an opportunity to talk to someone local. Ask questions about something you are unclear about or learning about popular places to get food, because people will be very responsive! The people of Dublin have been welcoming and ready to talk about anything. When we were on our way home on the bus, a man started to talk to us about the All-Ireland Gaelic football game and the pride for his county.
Although the beginnings of living in a new country is extremely exciting, one of the most important things to do is to take care of yourself. You will have the urge to stay awake and explore, but you need to remember to rest when you can before your schedule kicks in. You will be here for three months, give yourself a day to relax and care for your body.
Elizabeth's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.