This blog is about my semester abroad.
So, during 2016, in my second year at UCT, I did a semester abroad at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, in the USA. This is a very brief blog post about a couple of tips that I have to offer. I will probably have more posts about my experiences and advice that I can offer.
- Plan your excursions and make a list of what you want to do.
When I went over, I had done very little planning and research on places to go. I would suggest that you have a clear idea of what you want to do while you are there. One of my friends had a “The Carolinas” guidebook with which we planned several adventures. Thorough research beforehand makes it easier to plan your exploration as soon as you have received your term dates. By planning in advance you will be able to avoid wasting precious time. With this I am not trying to say that you have to be out and about every weekend but rather that you will be able to achieve more and see more.
- Try to get a part-time job.
During my semester I was fortunate enough to be offered a part-time job on campus. This is something that I would definitely recommend, especially coming from a country where our currency isn’t very strong. The job’s income allowed me to do some travelling as well as buy myself some very necessary (lifetime investment) items like a pair of Docs (for the terribly cold northern winter) and a suitcase set (for the feature travels). This job also took up some of the time that I would have spent procrastinating but instead spent learning new skills and actually being productive.
- Make friends and talk to people.
I was fortunate enough to be placed in the international residence with two other international students as roommates. Through them and some university organised events, I got to know loads of the other internationals as well. I found that, because they realise that they are only there for a while, the internationals are a bit more adventurous. However, I did meet loads of local students who were super nice and very eager to show me around and introduce me to the culture. During my semester I met so many people with whom I hope to stay in contact with for a large part of the future.