It is hard to believe that within 6 weeks I will be back in Louisville. It feels like just yesterday I was walking into my room at The Hague for the first time. I wanted to share some advice about some of the things that can have an impact on your study abroad experience.
Make a list of the countries/cities that you want to go to: This was one of the first things AJ and I did when we got to The Hague. We have been able to visit 10 countries on our list. The key is to travel early and often. That way, you are not traveling around the end of the semester when final exams and big assignments are due. Save the local areas for the end. Make use of any school holidays you may have. Fortunately, we did not have any tests during the first exam period so we had an extended fall break of about 10 days.
Stay on top of school work: It is important to get work done, even if it means giving up a night out during the week. You do not want to carry your books and notes around on a weekend trip trying to get work done. It is a hassle. Balancing school with traveling is not the easiest thing, but it is important that you do so.
Research the places you are going: By this I mean take an hour or so to look up some info on the places before you get there. Ask friends and family for recommendations on things to do. I have been able to use info from previous posts on this blog by others. You might be able to find a nice local restaurant, bar, or attraction that is not known to tourists. Also, look into events going on in the cities during the time you will be there. You never know if your favorite artist or author may be in town while you are there.
Pack light: Whenever you travel, pack light. Take only what you absolutely need for a few days and leave the rest. Make sure all your liquids are travel sized. I recommend walking whenever you can, you’ll see more of the city that way and you do not want to lug around a heavy backpack.
Be creative in your travel plans: Look into trains, buses, and planes. Buses are often dirt cheap, but the downside is a long travel time. Trains and planes are pretty affordable given that you plan well in advance. Look into other airports around you. Often, the low cost airlines fly out of secondary airports. You can travel to a city one way by train and then return by plane or by some other combination.
That is all I have for now. I will try to add more as I think of them. If you have any questions or comments, let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks for reading!