It’s Emma. To all the future study abroad students out there: You, might have some of these questions stuck in your head…What should I expect during my year abroad? What people will I meet? How is school going to be? Will I find a lot of American/Canadian friends? I want to answer all these questions for all my future exchange students and whoever is interested in the answers. :)
Tip 1: Be open to try new things!
As a tip, don’t set your expectations too high or specific. Be open to try new things and be flexible! Part of studying abroad at a US high school is experiencing new things and taking the lessons back home. Time will pass fast, so enjoy every moment! You are only studying abroad in the US for a short-time, but it has such a huge impact on the rest of your life!
Tip 2: Be friendly
All over the world you meet different people, with different stories and personalities. Be open-minded and be welcoming to everyone. Of course, you don’t have to become friends but always be friendly. In my case, I can only talk about my time in California attending Oak Park High School. I met many people and I continue making new friends every day. It is never too late to make connections and lifelong friendships.
Tip 3: Try your best in school
School depends on where you go. I personally chose a more advanced and difficult school. Oak Park High School is ranked as a Golden Ribbon School. There are subjects that challenge me but many are relatively easy too. This doesn’t mean to not try in school. Some high schools at home that count your grades abroad. Luckily my grades do not matter but I still try hard in school. You are expected to maintain a C-average in every class. Just try your best!
Tip 4: Do not stress about making friends
First of all don’t stress about making friends. You should try and put effort in meeting new people because that is part of studying abroad. Try to become friends also with the other exchange students. We all go through the same worries and situations. Together you will be able to solve them. Approach people and don’t be afraid of making the first step, when making friends.
I hope these answers help you and made your study abroad experience easier! Never forget, there are always people interested in giving advice and there for you.