Studying abroad is something I think every student should do before they graduate! That being said, studying abroad can be somewhat stressful and requires a lot of preparation. After studying abroad in Italy for a month, here are my top tips and tricks for making the most out of your study abroad trip!

1. Prepare for the weather!

Before you leave, do some research about what the weather will be like in your destination at the time of year you are going! You want to bring the right clothes so that you are comfortable in the cold, heat, rain, or whatever weather you’re likely to face. Plus, you will likely have limited luggage space, so you want to bring only clothes that are right for the weather and you’ll actually end up wearing!

2. Do Schoolwork Before You Leave

If your professor makes any of your schoolwork or reading available to you before the trip, try to do as much of it as you can before you leave! When you’re on your trip in another country with so much to do and see, you will be grateful that you’ve done some of the work beforehand. That way you can spend as much time as possible exploring and soaking in the culture instead of sitting in your room doing work!

3. Plan your Excursions

Although some of the best parts of your trip will be spontaneous and unplanned, it’s a good idea to research the things you’d really like to do in advance! Once you’re on your trip, you’ll be busy and it may be difficult to find time to thoroughly research what you’d like to do and figure out logistics. Also, many day-trips and events will be cheaper the earlier in advance you purchase them!

4. Be Spontaneous and Try New Things!

When you have the opportunity to try something new, I recommend taking the chance and doing it! On my trip, I had so many new foods that I never thought I would have tried! Calamari, carbonara, and prosciutto were just a few of the new foods I tried and loved. This also applies to new experiences, especially things you only have the chance to do while abroad! Make the most out of the time that you’re abroad, because it doesn’t last forever!

5. Go off the Beaten Path

Some of the best experiences I had while studying abroad were when we went away from the popular tourist destinations and found places off the beaten path. When you go onto the side-streets, food gets better (and cheaper), and you’ll experience a more local side of the culture. It’s so fun just to explore, find a coffee shop, and sit enjoying the scenery for a few hours. Of course, always be safe and go with others!