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Mentor Advice

Question

How important is it to have knowledge about the country I will be studying abroad in before I leave?

7 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Rae Rae
     
    Rae Rae
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    It is extremely important! Of course no one expects you to be an expert, and you are traveling...
    It is extremely important! Of course no one expects you to be an expert, and you are traveling to learn as well. But you should try to familiarize yourself with the language, politics, and government structures just so you have a basic understanding so you know what to expect. You should want to learn as much as possible about your country anyway, as it will become your new home.
  • mentor picture LaNitra Berger
     
    LaNitra Berger
    Senior Manager of Research and Policy
    NAFEO
    It is absolutely crucial to know something about your host country before you leave....
    It is absolutely crucial to know something about your host country before you leave. Luckily, between the Internet and some excellent travel guides, it should not be difficult to find important information. You should find out logistical information such as visa and passport requirements, etiquette, how you’ll get to your place of residence, and some of the dangers to look out for when you first arrive. Invest in a good travel guide to your host country so that you can have all of this information before you leave. It will also be a handy reference while you’re there, since there’s no guarantee that English-language publications will be readily available in every country.
  • mentor picture Kenya Casey
     
    Kenya Casey
    Study Abroad Advisor
    Emory University
    Very important! Look up quick facts about the country and the political situation of the places...
    Very important! Look up quick facts about the country and the political situation of the places you will be visiting. The Lonely Planet or any travel book is great for providing little snippets of information. I never leave home without a travel book! The US Department of State’s travel website is also a great resource. (http://travel.state.gov/)
  • mentor picture Tony Laing
     
    Tony Laing
    Ph.D. Candidate at Education Policy Studies and AFRO Studies
    University of Illinois – Urbana, Champaign
    It’s extremely important to have background knowledge of the host country you intend to visit....
    It’s extremely important to have background knowledge of the host country you intend to visit. For example, having knowledge of the country’s political stability, history and laws will prevent the possibility of inadvertently offending anyone or breaking any laws or customs.
  • mentor picture Kimberly
     
    Kimberly
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    Although you do not have to be an expert on the country you are studying abroad in, it is helpful...
    Although you do not have to be an expert on the country you are studying abroad in, it is helpful to know some information about the country. When first arriving, this will help you to adjust faster. This way, when living in the country you will not be completely lost. Knowledge about the country will help you to interact with the people and gain a better understanding of some of the traditions and normal routines of the people’s daily lives.
  • mentor picture Janeth
     
    Janeth
    Junior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    It is important to have a fair amount of knowledge of the country you will be studying in. I would...
    It is important to have a fair amount of knowledge of the country you will be studying in. I would recommend buying a travel guide just so you become familiar with the culture and you will have some tips on what to visit and how to get around. If you will be studying in a country that speaks a language you are unfamiliar with, I would recommend learning some key phrases just to make things easier for yourself. Having some knowledge before leaving will help you prepare for studying abroad and it may also lessen any culture shock.
  • mentor picture Anthony Yuen
     
    Anthony Yuen
    Outreach, Communications & Marketing
    Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
    Extremely important! You're going to be living and studying in an entirely different country...
    Extremely important! You're going to be living and studying in an entirely different country and culture, so it's critical to understand the people, culture, geography, and other important aspects of your study abroad country. While many aspects of your country won't really be tangible until you experience them firsthand, you can prepare by doing research, meeting international students, and preparing yourself for the transition to your new home.
 
 
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