Go abroad – challenge your personal values and bias, unlock the opportunity to a whole new catalogue of courses, meet new people from your destination and internationally, become a whiz at navigating through complex structures both socially and logistically, and take the opportunity to appreciate the wonderful things at home while on pass-or-fail; it will be great.
Say yes – both to your unexpected exchange destination and any opportunity abroad. You can always afford some mischief along the way.
Choose interactive classes – group projects will reveal the most subtle differences in culture. Plus, you don’t want to spend this valuable time alone with some textbook.
Plan your class schedule – some universities will allow you to choose different sections of classes, try to get the Friday off as it leaves more room for exploring.
Don’t be comfortable – 35 hour of bus transportation will teach you more about economics than a whole semester in the classroom.
Get to know other people from your exchange – they will be your best friends.
Get fluent in the sharing-economy – this will make you the queen of spontaneity.
Research proactively – this goes for both extracurriculars and potential weekend destination spots.
Smile – openness to others will greatly enrich your life.
Find common ground – appreciate the similarities of the social structures from where you go, and learn from the differences.
Last but not least, RELAX. No need to stress out over things out of your control. Recognise the differences in bureaucracy and make use of your once in a lifetime opportunity to take a class in something you’ve always been interested in. Treasure the people around you and the insight they give about all these amazing places.