A ‘Year Abroad’ is mandatory for many university students who want to get international experience and discover new cultures. It is a year off where the student has to go abroad to study, work and travel to gain valuable, enriching life experiences.
The best way to do this is by meeting locals and getting involved with their way of life. But this is easier said than done. Here are some useful first steps:
Step 1: Adventure beyond your hotel room
This sounds obvious but it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of spending the afternoon holed up in your room, struggling and failing to locate the English subtitles on the tinny, old TV set and ending up spending the following hours glued to a marathon of Spanish soap operas – you can’t understand a word but you’re fairly sure that Juan was cheating on María after all… Not exactly the most exciting start to your travels.
As scary as it may be at first, there’s a big wide world beyond that hotel door, and plenty of new friends to be made. Try chatting to other guests and staff in the hotel or, better still, go for a stroll to get a feel for the area – pop into a local bar or café, and don’t be afraid to ask the owner for recommendations of local landmarks to visit, etc. You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to help you out and making friends with the locals is a great way to practice your language skills and to get to know the area even better.
For more great tips on how to make friends abroad, follow this link: