If you find yourself in a conversation about studying abroad sometime in the near future, you are guaranteed to hear the word “experience” almost as much as you’ll hear the words “legal drinking age.” In fact, the emphasis on living it up often overshadows the other elements of studying abroad. Relatives never mention the outrageous food prices, the disorienting phases of culture shock, or feeling of utter loneliness that kicks in on the first rainy day. They don’t mention a lot of things, actually. For example:
1. You might not make friends right away, and that’s fine.
I’ve never been one to strike up a conversation with the person next to me on the subway or invite a random stranger to philosophize with me at a bookstore. When I left the US, I was determined to break out of my shell like the beautiful butterfly my mother always told…
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