You’re finally done. Your study abroad semester is over. Be sure to do these 8 things before you leave.
Time sure flies when you’re having fun. It felt like just yesterday you arrived in this beautiful foreign country and now it’s time for you to go back home. Finals are almost done and your flight back home is only a few days away. Bummer! Here are 8 things that you should do before you leave.
1. Decide who you want to stay in contact with
One of the best things about studying abroad, whether it’s only for a semester or for the whole duration of your course is the valuable friends and contacts that you make while you’re there. You would have met so many people during your semester abroad, made new friends, co-workers, professors etc. Shortlist the people that you want to keep in touch with and ask for their contact information- this includes both the friends and your own network.
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After you’ve completed your degree you might want to go back to the city and get a job, or a friend will be in your hometown for the weekend and needs a place to stay. Having these people’s contact information, email, Facebook, handphone etc will make keeping in touch a lot easier. You’ll also never know when you would need it.
2. Savour your favourite foods
Go and visit all of your favourite food spots for the last time and enjoy all of the meals that you won’t be able to get when you’re back home. Your waistline might protest, but you can always exercise once you are home.
3. Get all of your gifts and souvenirs sorted
What are the items unique to the country? Maybe they’re famous for their chocolates, or they make great leather, you get the drift. Be sure to get a little something for loved ones and one for yourself as a keepsake of your time there.
4. Do a wardrobe overhaul
Living in another country abroad for a period of time would mean that your wardrobe would have expanded. You probably have a cool collection of shot glasses, countless new clothes and random bits of trinkets. All of these won’t fit into your suitcase unless you plan to ship some back home before your departure.
If you are not planning to get another suitcase, then you should look at everything that you’ve accumulated and either donate or throw the ones that you’ve hardly used or are too battered to be used again.
5. Stock up on your favourite things
Now that you’re used to the fantastic pesto sauce that Italy makes during your study abroad there and won’t enjoy the pesto sauce found back home, stock up on these items. Check with your programme advisor and what you’re allowed to bring back home. Ensure that you wrap everything securely to prevent any spillage or broken glass.
6. Weigh your packed luggage
It is absolutely essential that you remember to weigh your luggage including your carry-ons before heading to the airport. Luggage that are over the allowed weightage can set you back by hundreds of dollars. If it takes too long for them to rearrange the weight distribution you might miss your flight.
7. Take a breather and just soak up the sights and sounds
With your finals wrapping up and the headache of sorting all of the finer details in preparation for your departure, it can get quite hectic. Remember to take a break and head over to all of your favourite haunts in the city. Bring your friends along, have an impromptu picnic, sit on a bench and people watch and enjoy the last moments that you have in your study abroad adventure.
8. Prepare for reverse culture shock
You must be thinking- How can I possibly feel that when I’m back home? The answer to that question is yes, you most definitely can. While it is more common to deal with culture shock when you arrive in a foreign country, but the reverse is just as true. Bear in mind that you’ve finally gotten used to your study abroad country, its various quirks, the different types of sceneries and things that you expect every day, going back home despite being around family and friends might not be as comforting as you thought it’d be.
You will probably miss your study abroad friends, the foods that you could easily obtain there, and all of the little things that you took for granted there. Be mentally prepared and it should go away soon enough.