Advice to semester abroad
I’d love to speak about my semester abroad as my semester abroad is soon about to end (I am so sad about that!). I can surely tell that my semester abroad has been one of the best times in my entire life. I wasn’t expecting anything when I came to Finland. I just came here with a positive mind and I can tell that this has helped me a lot. Generally speaking I can definitely recommend a semester abroad and I can definitely recommend a semester abroad in Finland! I would love to give advices in matters of a semester abroad.
Advice Nr.1 – When doing a semester abroad try your best and do it alone. There is nothing wrong about doing a semester abroad with a friend or in a group together but the probability of being in that group all the time and speaking the home language is much higher than when being alone and being forced to speak to foreigners. I, for instance, came to Finland alone and I have met a lot of awesome people over here. We communicate in english and it is so interesting to get to know different people from different countries. On the other hand there are a lot of students over here, from the same country, who travelled to Finland with their friends. Most of the time they are together and speak the home language. It is fine to have a comfort zone but for me there is no sense in doing a semester abroad and being with the same people you are with in your home country and speaking the home language.
Advice Nr. 2 – This advice is closely related to advice nr.2. When doing a semester abroad be open-minded. I know that it is somehow strange to encounter people from different cultures because they behave differently. Honestly speaking, at the long last different cultures are something beautiful. I grew up in two complete different cultures: the ghanian culture and the german culture. Both cultures are individually beautiful. Being born and raised in Germany by parents being born and raised in Ghana really helped me to be open-minded about other cultures. I will never say that a culture is better than any other culture. I have seen beautiful things about every culture I have yet encountered. On the contrary I have also seen negative aspects about every culture I have yet encountered. The things we know about people of a country before we meet them in person are called „clichees“ or „stereotypes“. Not everybody of the samee country behaves like that and there is no point in feeling better than anyone. All humans are equally beautiful in their own way. So when doing a semester abroad be open-minded and don’t encounter people with prejudices. Give foreign people space to prove themselves and get to know their individual personality.
Advice Nr. 3 – Be prepared financially. When doing a semester abroad you will live alone most likely and you would need to pay rent. Besides paying rent, one also needs to do grocery shopping. It would be okay if paying rent and paying for grocery shopping would be the only expenses, but they aren’t! Especially when doing a semester abroad one wants to visit the neighbouring countries too. One meets new people and one spends a lot of time with each other by doing activities which most probably cost money. I didn’t calculate in advance but by now I can tell that the Erasmus Money I received additionally is a good financial support next to my own money. In general it is a good idea to have money for emergency due to the fact that you never know what might happen unexpectedly.
These are my 3 main advices I would give right now. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. My IG: bella_abena
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