Freaking out at the thought of going exchange soon? Don’t know what to do during exchange or what to pack for exchange? Fret not, we’re here to tell you what you should prepare before you go for exchange.
1. Learn the language
Picking up a whole new language may be difficult but knowing some local expressions and slangs may be useful when you want to bargain at night markets or flea markets. Most stall vendors of night markets are more well-versed in the local language. Thus, communicating in their local language may give you an advantage over others and get a few dollars off when you are shopping!
Moreover, when you return home, it will be an interesting experience to share with your closed ones about the exciting things that you did while learning a new language.
2. Be culturally sensitive
There are some things which are deemed to be inappropriate in certain countries. Be aware of them so that you will not come off as a rude person.
In China, Taiwan, Singapore, and other Asian countries: Don’t stab your rice with chopsticks. It resembles the incense that is offered in temples, so it is seen as inauspicious to some people.
(Image taken from Onehallyu.)
Therefore, do some research on the hosting country on the norms that you should follow before you travel abroad.
3. Join in the fun
There are some festivals that shouldn’t be missed when you are abroad. Absolutely fun and enjoyable, these festivals will enrich your stay in the hosting country.
Belgium’s Tomorrowland is one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals. It has won the Best Music Event from 2012-2016 in the Winter Music Conference. Thus, if you are in Belgium in July, be sure not to give it a miss.
(Image taken from Tomorrowland.)
In China, there is the famous Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival.
It is held annually during winter months. Amazing ice sculptures are displayed to showcase the extraordinary workmanship. It would usually occur from January to February. Thus, If you are heading to Peking University for exchange in the first semester of the academic year, drag your friends along to the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival after examinations have ended.
(Image taken from Xinmedia.)
4. Learn how to cook
Yes, I am not kidding. You need not know how to whip up a 9-course meal but knowing how to cook some dishes will definitely help when you are missing home cooked food and do not wish to eat out every day. Moreover, eating out can be expensive in some countries. Therefore, learn some simple dishes before you go on exchange would definitely be great. Bring some sauces if you know that you will miss home food! I have friends who bring Sambal, TomYum, and other sauces with them when they are heading overseas to study.
(Image taken from Seriouseats.)
5. Grades are still important
Phew, the thought of studying sucks, but it is still a must for students. Be sure to score decently well in your examinations and have fun at the same time. Having a work-life balance is crucial to enjoy your exchange experience.
Lastly, if you find this article useful, do share it with your friends who are going for exchange too! Have fun and enjoy your exchange!