Traveling While Studying Abroad in London ~ Obviously study abroad trips are gonna differ depending on where you go, what kind of program you go, with you know if you go with the school or not whatever it is.
And so these are just tips that I gathered from my own personal experience, and maybe other people would disagree with these tips, but from my experience these are things that I think would be helpful for anyone who is planning to study abroad.
Also if you have ever studied abroad and you have any tips for anyone else who’s interested come with us on comment below because I’m sure we’d all love to hear them alright.
So I have a little list on my phone here and they’re just kind of in a random order but let’s see the very first one is to bring a duffle bag or a carry-on for your weekend trips.
So especially if you’re studying abroad in Europe, it’s so easy to travel and take trips on the weekends and obviously wherever you’re going you’re probably gonna be bringing a really large suitcase like one huge one that has the majority of your stuff in it, but even if you don’t really think you need the extra space which I did, because I packed a lot of stuff, but even if you don’t think you need more room I definitely recommend bringing either a small carry-on bag or a backpack or some kind of duffel bag that you can bring with you on weekends, because you’re not gonna want to carry a huge suitcase with you when you travel somewhere.
The next tip I have is to learn how to use the public transportation system, because it really is not that hard once you get the hang of it, I’ve grown up in suburban life in Birmingham Alabama my whole life I’ve never used public transportation really, and I was able to figure it out in London they call it the tube it’s like the underground system there and after just a couple days it’s really easy to figure it out and that’s typically the easiest way to get around when you’re in big cities so definitely recommend trying to figure that out the first couple days while you’re there.
Going along with that, you should use Google Maps, because it has a lot of cool features and you can download instructions and stuff in case you don’t have Wi-Fi. That’s really helpful and on Google Maps you can even use the transportation part of it, which is really cool, so it’ll tell you like which routes to take on the subway, so it makes it a lot less confusing.
The next thing I would recommend is trying to teach yourself some of the currency before you get over there, because what we figured out in my group was that it can be kind of overwhelming when you’re trying to pay in cash and you don’t know what any of the coins mean and you can’t tell them apart from each other and there’s a long line of people that you’re trying not to annoy.
If you have time like on the plane ride over there and you can get some cash in the airport try and do that and look at all the coins and teach yourself what each of them means and what the bills are, so that way when you go somewhere and you’re trying to pay you don’t look like you’re super confused.
So the next thing that I want to talk about is budgeting and this is something that I tried to do before I went on my trip and that was just to budget out how much money I thought I might be spending on meals everyday and obviously it depends on what kind of program you go with, because you know some programs might give you like a meal card and they might pay for the majority of your meals, but on my program we had to pay for about two-thirds of our meals like with cash out of pocket.
So what I did was I literally just googled like the average cost of lunch and dinner in London and obviously that’s not going to be completely accurate, but basically I tried to Google that average it out and then multiply it by how many days I was there and that gave me a set amount that I was like, okay this is what I might be spending on food and what I should expect to possibly have to spend.
That way don’t just get there and you’re like doling out cash all over the place and you can even like grocery shopping stuff like that to try and budget and save money, because food can add up very quickly.
Next I would recommend that you try and find a good study spot because yes you were abroad to have fun but you’re also studying abroad so you have to study somewhere.
We found it pretty difficult to find like a good coffee shop in our area that we could just go study at so we ended up having to study at our library most of the time just on the campus where we were staying.
But if you can’t I would recommend trying to walk around and finding like, a nice library that you like or maybe even a park if you like to go outside just find somewhere that you can go and get work done.
We took so many trains when we were in London, I feel like almost every other day we were taking a long train ride somewhere and so I would highly recommend always having something to do with you.
From me, I was taking a lip gloss and so I had a lot of books to read, so I was constantly reading books on the trains and planes that we went on, or I would bring my laptop and try and edit a video, but just have something that you can do because if you don’t you’re gonna feel like you’re wasting so much time.
Next are two things that I would recommend investing, in first of all is a good pair of headphones, I learned this the hard way my really cute like pink sparkly headphones, broke while I was over there and that was really sad.
And for like two days I didn’t have any headphones and I didn’t like that I was on a train and I couldn’t listen to any music.
So I had to go buy some new headphones, so I would definitely recommend bringing a nice pair with you I mean maybe not something like super nice because you don’t want them to get lost or broken or anything like that, but just a good pair of headphones that will fit down in your bag and you can bring with you everywhere.
And I’d also recommend investing in a comfy pair of shoes on my trip we did so much walking, like some days we would be walking more than like 12 or 13 miles, which is literally half a marathon that’s kind of crazy to think about.
And I had a lot of comfy like sneakers with me and I never got blisters my feet never really bothered me that much so that was really nice I would definitely recommend getting some good walking shoes.
Next I think that everyone should document their study abroad trip, in some kind of way for me I was making videos obviously I’ve logged the trip and I’m also making a little travel journal, which I’m gonna be sharing in an upcoming video if you’re interested in that but either take pictures everywhere, or take videos everywhere or have a journal with you at all times and journal like everything you do you just want to document everything in some way so that you don’t forget all the memories you make.
Next tip kind of goes along with the very first thing I talked about but that is to travel while you’re there, especially if you’re in Europe, I feel like that’s kind of the most common thing for Americans to do is go study abroad in Europe and once you’re over there it is so easy to travel from country to country um you can get really cheap plane rides and train tickets and it’s so easy to travel.
So definitely take advantage of that and try and go as many places as you can but on the flip side of that definitely still get to know the area that you are staying in that’s something that I didn’t do as much as I wish I would have looking back, because I had two free weekends and I traveled places both of those weekends, when I could have stayed in London and like done more London things, because at the end of I realized that there was still some stuff in London that I hadn’t seen yet.
So make sure that you’ve seen like your whole area and that you really feel like you are immersed, in the culture there, but if you have time definitely travel as well.
All right and the very last tip that I have is to just try new things, I know that sounds so cliche, but when you’re abroad and experiencing a new place and a new culture, there are just so many new opportunities and foods and places presented to you every single day, so say yes to everything, I mean not everything, you don’t want to do crazy stuff, you know what I’m saying, but say yes to things that maybe you wouldn’t say yes to at home and try new things and really just have the best time ever, because studying abroad is so much fun, but it definitely takes getting out of your comfort zone to have the most fun I would say.
All right so those are all the study abroad tips that I have again like I mentioned at the beginning if you have studied abroad.