After coming home from an eventful semester abroad, I have been met with a mixed set of emotions. I have loved getting to see family and friends, but I still find myself adjusting back to the way things were.

I still long for the streets of Bordeaux and the adventures that I had while in France. In some ways I think I am experiencing a bigger culture shock returning home then when I arrived in France. It’s great being back on UA’s campus but I still find myself thinking about my classes and friends I might while abroad.

That being said, cherish your study abroad experience. It will be one of the greatest experiences of your like and you will create wonderful new memories. As I reflect on my experience, I can only be thankful for the times being abroad.

Now, as I continue on with my semester, I will leave you all with my top 5 tips for going abroad:

  1. Meet new people! Don’t be afraid to walk up and talk to someone new or sit with a different person. In exchanges most people don’t know each other so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation!
  2. Try new foods! This is one of my big tips. Throughout all of my travels, I always made sure to take at least one bite out of something new or special for that country. I made memories through food, and it’s a great way to experience a new culture!
  3. Don’t make excuses! If your friends ask you to go hang out or take a weekend trip, don’t make an excuse! Go! These are the moments that often turn out to be the best!
  4. Don’t worry too much about the camera! Unless photography is something you love, don’t worry about the camera on your adventures. It’s fun to have pictures to show people when you return, but my biggest advice is to just soak it in! Create a memory that will last with you for a lifetime.
  5. Lastly, pay attention! Pay attention to all of your surroundings. Whether that be for safety reasons, or you may be in a cool spot, you never know what you might see or hear!

Signing off with one of my favorite pictures from Bordeaux! Where all the fun happened!