How to be Successful Living Abroad From an American Student POV

In this blog post American student Victoria Foster reflects upon her college experience thus far in Norway and what she has learned from studying abroad. Continue reading to learn more about her most useful tips for other students planning on studying abroad.

Don’t overwhelm yourself

One of the main reasons I chose ACN was because of the size. As a smaller school it is easier to make friends and network, allows you to have a better connection to teachers, and the staff becomes very involved in student life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and the staff and teachers are there to give it to you.

Make sure you maintain an equal balance of prioritizing, school work, fun, and adventure / partying is fun but don’t wear yourself out.

Don’t hold yourself to too high expectations 

The change of moving across the world is a bigger adjustment than you assume, so don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong. It is inevitable that you will mess up, embarrass yourself, or find yourself to be completely clueless in a new situation. Embrace all of this as a learning experience, and let go of the unrealistic standards you set for yourself. 

Manage your life back home

Sometimes it can feel like you are living two separate lives. For me, I have a job at home that I still need to keep tabs on and some close friends from my hometown. Take note of what  friends actually make the effort to reach out, and who you find yourself missing the most. Leaving home is always a good way to test how much value the people you used to surround yourself added to your life.

 

Remember that you are in charge of your college experience!

It is up to you to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. The best way to have fun is to get involved; don’t be shy. We have a big student group chat where we organize movie nights, parties, ask questions, and hang out. This makes it super easy to plan a game night or ask if anyone wants to go to the store with you. In school, join committees, start a club, and show up to your classes.

Also don’t be afraid to try something new. A life without risk is a life without meaning. There is only so much you can learn in a classroom. The most beneficial things you will discover in your college years are about yourself. Best way to fast track your growth is by putting yourself in a new situation.

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