Travel is more fashionable than ever, and students are riding the wave!
For centuries, more and more has been invested in a comprehensive education, that which is not only learned in the classroom but also outside of it, traveling is part of the training, learning and education of any person.
Now these trips are considered an important plus in a CV, having been away from home for a while, getting to know other cultures and languages is a must and families know it. Many make great efforts to provide their children with these opportunities to travel and broaden their horizons: from high school to ERASMUS programs.
Many students are eager to leave their country, to get to know other cultures, other people, to taste interesting destinations, to learn languages… It is undoubtedly the best time in life to do it, without work ties or family burdens.
Recently, I met with some American students and they told me what they expected from their exchange in Barcelona, some of their intentions were fulfilled, others were not, here are the 5 most relevant tips that led them to travel and study in another country:
1) MEET STUDENTS FROM THE HOST COUNTRY AND FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
In the case of the American students, they were able to make friends with Spanish students after a few weeks in Spain by attending a university with other Spanish students. Students who stay with host families tend to have an easier time integrating as the family can help and advise them. Attending a school or university with students from the country is also another important way to adapt and meet students, although it would be ideal to be able to meet and contact them before arriving in the host country.
2) TO KNOW THE CULTURE OF THE COUNTRY
The family where these students stayed was not the typical family they would have liked and they did not have the opportunity to get to know the country hand in hand with their hosts; undoubtedly the best way to get to know how life is in the host country is to live in a family that accepts and welcomes you as one of their own. This gives the student an unintentional taste of the culture and traditions of their country: they will eat typical local food, experience the customs first hand, and be shown the most emblematic places that rarely appear in tourist guides.
Each country has its own singularities, and knowing them from a local has no comparison.
3) BE ABLE TO TRAVEL WITHIN THE COUNTRY OR TO NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES
All students seek to make the most of their time abroad, my friends were no exception and were able to travel to Paris and Rome. The student who moves from one country to another wishes to continue learning and learning. He likes to take advantage of weekends or vacation periods to travel and move around: other countries, other cities, etc. Look for flexibility, comfort and support.
4) PERSONAL GROWTH
It is a stage of discovery and learning, of personal growth. For a student each year is a change of life, each course different from the previous one, new teachers, new subjects, that motivates him to improve, to turn over a new leaf and look for the best. Make new friends, meet new, different people. Getting to know yourself in new circumstances will shape your personality, make you tolerant and flexible.
My American students have had to deal with problems and circumstances that they would not have had in their own country, so they have certainly taken with them a suitcase full of valuable experiences!
Getting away from home, changing rules, schedules or control is often what students who wish to travel to another country are looking for. The student seeks to experiment in order to continue growing, freedom is part of his personal growth, to organize himself, to be organized, to be spavilized and to “pull his own chestnuts out of the fire” is part of the acquisition of that freedom.
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