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Expectations vs. The Reality of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting experiences in a young person’s life. If this is your first time outside of your native country, like me, then you don’t really have an idea of what to expect. Although you’ll definitely have the time of your life, there are still a few misconceptions about study abroad:

1. You’ll go to everywhere and say yes to everything

The reality of studying abroad is that the part is more serious than you think. Exams are real. Lectures are real and so are quizzes. Being in another country doesn’t mean that you will constantly be having fun every day. Make time to study and you’ll have less stress and plenty of time to do all the exciting things you want.

2. Classes will be easy and it doesn’t matter if you skip classes

Maybe you’re used to skipping lectures and tutorials at your home university, but is important that you attend classes at UTS, especially since most have an attendance requirement. Skipping classes just leaves you with a big headache of trying to catch up the week before the exam, so save yourself the trouble.

3. You’ll eat out every night

Let’s be real, eating out every night is expensive and eventually you’ll realize that too as your bank account cries out, “stop hurting me! I’ve got nothing left to give.”

4. Suddenly, you’ll develop a different personality and everything will just come together

Different country, same you. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll learn new things and experience moments that few people ever do, but that’s not going to make you a new person overnight and shouldn’t expect to be. Don’t try to go “wild” or “rogue”. Try to stay true to yourself, but also step reasonably outside of your comfort zone.

5. You won’t get homesick

I can’t necessarily say that everyone will get homesick but the overwhelming majority have experienced this in the past. It is important to seek help if the feeling becomes too much for you to bear and is affecting your academic and/or personal life.

These are just general tips on how to make the best of your experience at UTS. It may seem difficult at first, but once you get in the habit, it’ll be easier than you think. I can say, without a doubt that all of these have helped me during my time at UTS and so far I have greatly benefited from them.

P.S. U:PASS should be your new best friend!

Caesar Varfley

Accounting Major

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, United States of America

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