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Major: International Economic Relations
Status: Workygirl

I am fond of chocolates, flowers, friends, loud music, watching movies, taking pictures and traveling!!!

Study Abroad Expectations
Olya Bezvushko

Your life abroad will be most probably different to your home one, and it is important to expect this beforehand. When you anticipate the differences, it helps you to prepare for life abroad much better. The main thing you have always to keep in your mind is flexibility. It will help to adapt to your new environment while on your program.

Learn to expect the unexpected. The following are some very general things to which you are probably used in your country but find it very difficult overseas:

†††† -†Everyday routine. Your routine will change upon your arrival to your destination and will be affected by time difference and local traditions, such as the tradition of taking an afternoon siesta in Spain and Mexico. You may eat your meal later or earlier than you are used to do. Shops and stores may have a different schedule than you expect, so that you will have to take those business hours into consideration.

†††† -†Facilities. In general, you take what you get and deal with it. Facilities may be working or out of order, modern or rundown. Very often, especially in poorer areas of the country, you may have to lower your standards and use what is accessible to you. Remember, that facilities do not have to be new to be safe and useful.†

†††† -†Bathroom. There is a highly possibility that you may find bathroom arrangements different in all countries, even the way the things are in Britain differs from the one the USA have. You are mistaken, if you think that the idea of a western toilet (with a porcelain bowl and a sit) is universal. Bathroom facilities abroad may be a simple holes in the floor, outside the house or just do not exist in the house. There is not always an option of a sink and running water available. If there is a sink with running water, ask if it is possible to drink it or brush your teeth with it. The construction of the shower may also be different, because some cultures prefer to bathe in a tub or other water resources instead. You may find hand-held water sprayers instead of US style fixed showerheads.†††

†††† -†Modern conveniences. You probably will not be able to find some of your favorite food items you are used to eat in your home country. If it seems impossible to find something you are looking for, it doesnít mean that you canít find an appropriate substitute. Use your opportunities to try a new food you would not agree to eat in your home country. You should not expect to find the same food chains or name brand items, the same size system of clothing and shoes.

†††† -†Academic expectations. You will be expected to attend classes, take exams, read all required material, complete homework, etc. You should follow the local academic calendar for carrying out these activities. If you obtain a GPA lower than 2.0 it may result in no academic credit and financial aid awarded for the following semester. Keep in mind that some semester-long program courses are taught in English by local faculty and those that have foreign language requirements are taught in the local language.

To make the long story short, if you cannot have or find everything you want, find a compromise.

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