When you embark on your study abroad journey, it's likely that you'll end up in a country you've never been to before. With new surroundings comes the necessity for new cultural understandings and most importantly, a completely new lifestyle.
During travel, with your lifestyle going through so many drastic changes, it is important to keep up your physical and mental health. You'll be seeing new sights, eating new foods, taking new classes, meeting new people, trying to speak a new language - it can all be very, very overwhelming.
To keep you afloat, here are some actionable tips you can take while you're abroad:
1. Stay hydrated.
|Drinking up some Perrier in a Parisian restaurant|
As you might have heard over and over again, always make sure that you're drinking enough water. Traveling and living abroad can be a very strenuous activity on your body, so make sure to chug that H2O every chance you get. When you stay hydrated, you're essentially giving yourself clear skin, lots of energy, and a clean, healthy body.
Tip: Tap water tastes a lot better in Europe! In France, I drank from the tap all the time - buying bottles of water just wasn't necessary.
2. Eat well.
|A duck platter - don't be afraid to try new things!|
While abroad, it's very likely that you'll be trying an endless slew of foreign cuisine. Even when you're cooking for yourself and shopping for food in the market, most things will be different. Local vegetables and fruits may not be what you're used to back home - but that's okay!
When you're abroad, you're given the free reign of the foods you eat, since you aren't strapped to a college meal plan. Always make sure that you load up on real, clean food (such as fruits and vegetables), eat in all of the food groups, and avoid eating too much unhealthy, processed junk foods. Your body will definitely thank you later!
3. Get some exercise.
|A typical Parisian street - beautiful as always|
For wellness, exercise is key. A good way to ensure that you are getting enough exercise is to move as much as you can. Take the stairs when given the option to, and walk around the city whenever possible. Not only will you be able to make sure that you're physically healthy when you're abroad, you'll also be able to explore and see the streets for yourself, rather than be stuck underground in the metro.
4. Be positive.
Keeping your positivity levels up is so, so incredibly important while you're abroad! Staying positive will help you stay mentally healthy. Rather than turning to negativity at every struggle, focus on the amazing realities of your ability to study abroad and integrate yourself into a new culture. Always consider and cherish the small victories and accomplishments you were able to achieve, even if it is something as small as successfully ordering a meal in French, or getting through the public transportation systems without becoming lost.
5. Keep in touch.
When abroad, you'll be surrounded by strangers everywhere: the locals, your new classmates, and even your new professors. To help with this transition, it'll be helpful to keep in touch with your friends and family back home. They'll help you with your homesickness - and of course it's always a fun time to be able to hear the voices of your loved ones again.
|The Tea Cups at Disneyland Paris - Don't go mad!|
Kayla K. is the Fall '16 CEA MOJO in Paris, France. She is currently a sophomore studying Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Pre-Law at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Kayla King is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France, and is currently studying at Point Loma Nazarene University.