I landed in Cape Town, South Africa, on a Tuesday afternoon after 19 hours of traveling the day before, and—needless to say—I was exhausted! However, that exhaustion was overcome by the excitement I was feeling since I was finally in the city that I had been dreaming of for the past 3 months. After getting a ride to our accommodations in the suburb of Rosebank, all 30 students on my program attended an orientation session to go over program details, service-learning placements, and our course load. At the end of the session, we were given details of a three-day trip... Read More
Ah, the ultimate compliment. In your travels, if someone asks you for directions – consider yourself lucky! Being looked at as a local who seems to know what they’re doing is pretty impressive for a study abroad student. However, you may also sometimes find yourself struggling to fit in. In that case, allow me to offer you some advice.
The most important part of fitting in with the local culture is how you present yourself. It’s not difficult to pick up on some of the local norms, specifically what the locals wear. I often joke about how when... Read More
It can be difficult to find food to eat abroad when you have an allergy or dietary restriction. But fear not, vegetarians and gluten-free eaters: we’re here to help!
Gluten-free in Paris
Some countries are better than others about gluten-free options. Unfortunately for me, the French were relatively unaware of celiac and gluten allergies, while Italians were surprisingly on top of it with gluten-free pasta galore. Even as someone who must eat gluten-free in a city like Paris—where baguettes are an accessory—there are always options. I used blogs... Read More
When starting your study abroad adventure, there is often an overload of adjustments and protocols. Between regular arrival procedures and orientation meetings, you also have to purchase a phone plan or a track phone for international use. In order to make your transition abroad as smooth as can be, here is a list of some useful apps you can use while adjusting to your new destination (and as an additional perk, they’re all free!).
- WhatsApp & Viber – Both of these apps are essential for study abroad, as it makes... Read More
One of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in your host country is to go and see live music. Whether this means attending huge festivals with thousands of people or going to see a soloist at a small pub, it’s a great way to get involved and surround yourself with the locals.
Besides the music, going to see a live show also gives you the opportunity to visit world-famous venues. To give you some ideas, here’s the low-down on a few venues that are definitely worth checking out while you’re abroad:
1. London - Royal... Read More
Networking is a really good thing to keep in mind as your trip comes to an end. Before you’re on your way back home, be sure to take advantage of your new connections! Your study abroad experiences can be used to your benefit in the future, so make sure you take the time to reflect on your personal and professional growth.
Time to Connect
If you have an internship, research, or service-learning position, make sure you take the opportunity to reach out to everyone who helped you along the way. It does not hurt to write some thank-you notes to your... Read More
During my spring break abroad, my roommates and I organized an intensive trip through Eastern Europe. Our mission was to tackle four countries in nine days, an ambitious journey that required a lot of rigorous planning. The first half of our trip ran rather smoothly from Vienna to Budapest, but we hit a roadblock when we missed our over-night train from Budapest to Krakow. Trying not panic over our misfortune, we found the nearest customer service desk. However, since none of us spoke Hungarian, we were limited to communication via hand gestures and tears. With no... Read More
Sometimes study abroad students—myself included—forget that the “study” in study abroad means exactly that. You’re abroad so that you can explore and immerse yourself in a new way of life, but it is important to remember that every day is not a vacation. You are there to learn and to better yourself! This is particularly relevant to you Panther Program folks, as your grades abroad will impact your Pitt GPA.
Let’s start with the basics. Whether you’re just starting your trip or you see finals fast approaching, is time to develop a study plan... Read More
When I was abroad, there were definitely days where I wondered, "Am I really taking advantage of being here in France as much as possible?" And it's a hard thing to evaluate when you're there trying to find a balance between planning and going with the flow.
I'm a planner at heart. I went into my study abroad experience with a history of making plans and even needing plans in order to feel satisfied with whatever I was doing with my time. Unexpectedly, studying abroad taught me how to balance my need to plan with my desire to be more... Read More
Studying abroad is definitely one of the most exciting experiences a student can embark on, but once the initial excitement wears off, many students are plagued by homesickness. While these feelings are totally normal and to be expected, they can inhibit you from getting the most out of your abroad experience! Listed below are some expert tips on how to beat homesickness:
- Schedule a weekly call with your loved ones. One of the most effective ways to feel still connected to your life at home is to have regularly scheduled... Read More