A semester abroad is a memory you won’t soon forget. Students always think that saying goodbye to home, familiarity, friends, family and missing out on events will be the hardest part about studying abroad but actually the hardest part about studying abroad is leaving your host country and recovering from the most incredible experience of your life. No longer are you taking awesome weekend trips to places like Melbourne, Sydney, Whitsundays, or Uluru. No longer are you immersed in the culture that you just got accustomed too. All you want to do is talk about the amazing experiences that you had, but alas after a while friends and family lose enthusiasm for the stories.
1. Back-up your photographs
If you’re like me, you took a lot of photos while studying abroad. You probably should do this just in case something was to ever happen to your original copies. You never want to lose the amazing photographs that time line your experience.
2. Keep in touch with Friends
Don’t lose touch with your new friends from abroad. Now instead of communicating the way you did with family and friends back in good ole’ USA while just reverse it with your Aussie and American study abroad mates. Set up Skype dates with your mates (even though the time zones can be a bit pesky). Facebook, Oovoo, Viber (the greatest app created if you ask me), and WhatsApp Messenger.
3. Get involved with your study abroad office at your home school
Reach out to your home university of collage to find ways to stay involved in study abroad. Encouraging others to study abroad allows you to relive your greatest memories when sharing them with prospective travelers. Volunteer at study abroad fairs and information sessions, find out if your school has some type of campus ambassador role or internship you can apply for, it is so much fun.
4. Research other ways to go abroad again
There are so many opportunities that allow combining your work and your passion of traveling. You just have to go out and find them. You can apply for a working holiday visa for Australia, teaching English abroad, get a graduate degree abroad, Au Pair job, take a gap year if you plan to get another degree and so many more opportunities.
5. Make a plan to go back for a visit
You can go back! Make plans to visit your host country again (because we all know that as much as you love the USA, there is a big part of you that misses your other home). Use websites such as Groupon that create all inclusive deals that potentially save you money. If you choose to do your own trip there are some many ways to save. The abundance of hostels is incredible and they are one of the cheaper ways to travel (and one of the most interesting). There are also travel companies can help create a low budget trip that includes everything on your check list. Make a plan and do it. Good luck!
Emma Van Loon is a Global Ambassador and student at University of Rhode Island. She studied abroad in Newcastle, Australia with TEAN.