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Study abroad : Once you arrive

Top 10 study abroad words of wisdom

Take some inspirational advice from these well known quotes from other travellers.

traveller with a map

Every student abroad can always use a few words of encouragement. Whether you are preparing for your upcoming study abroad, are currently exploring your new host country, or if you are struggling with Phase II of study abroad – otherwise known as post study abroad re-entry shock – sometimes the words of another traveller can make just the right amount of sense at just the right time.



Here are a few inspirational quotes to live by...




‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.’ – Saint Augustine


Studying abroad will change the world as you know it. Most people are exposed only to one country or place for years before they have the chance to go abroad. While this is a comfortable place to be, until a person leaves what they know, they may never get the full experience of what the world has to offer.





‘The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.’ – Gilbert K. Chesterton

When you are a tourist, you visit the places that are popular attractions and well known. When you have these attractions as a goal, you often miss the heart of the country. Being surrounded by other tourists at polished attractions often prevents people from experiencing the culture and makes people focused on one thing. If you immerse yourself in the culture and not the popular attractions, the entire experience will turn into one big attraction in a way.




‘To travel is to take a journey into yourself.’– Danny Kaye

Many people who study abroad learn more about themselves in those months than some people learn about themselves in years. Once you are away from what you’ve known most of your life, you are subjected to different emotions, experiences and feelings that you’ve never had to deal with before. An extended trip abroad makes many people self reflect and revaluate what they want and value and appreciate in life.





I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.’ – Oscar Wilde


Always write down what you are feeling, and what you did in a day. When you are abroad for an extended period of time you experience countless unique, and historical places and it becomes hard to keep track and remember all of the details of those places. Journaling and taking plenty of pictures helps people remember their journey and reflect, while giving themselves something to read later on.





To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.’ – Aldous Huxley


People are always more than willing to give you their opinions on places they know about or have been to. However, people’s experiences are very subjective and vary on the person and what they experienced. Based on what region they visited, and their back ground, that person’s opinion can be completely opposite of what you experience and think of that place.





When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.’ – Clifton Fadiman


During certain stages of studying abroad people often experience what it feels like to be an outsider for the first time and the anxiety of being in a foreign place. However, that is the point of studying abroad, if it were exactly like your home, what would be the point? The customs and culture won’t be what you are used to, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t embrace them.





‘Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.’ – Henry David Thoreau

Sometimes you might take a wrong turn, or venture into a place you never knew existed. During these situations you will be in touch with yourself more than ever considering all you have is yourself to rely on. These experiences will help you know yourself better and uncover what you are capable of on your own.





‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things’ – Henry Miller

When you hop on your plane to your host country, it may feel that that is your destination. However, that is only the physical aspect of your destination as studying abroad takes you beyond that. Studying abroad matures people and gives people a new insight which is the ultimate destination that will be with you forever.





‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.’ – Mark Twain

Take a chance. If you want to do something, make time for it and don’t push it aside. You may never get a chance to do it again, and you don’t want to have any regrets after a once in a lifetime experience like studying abroad. Even if the experience isn’t what you expected, at least you can say you tried it.





'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’ – Neale Donald Walsch

Some people feel more alive during their study abroad experience than they ever have before. This is mostly because you have the chance to see and try things that you would normally never dream about doing or seeing. Trying new things, making decisions on a whim, and taking risks is exhilarating for many people and creates an almost touchable sense of freedom.



Read more:

’10 Brilliant graduation speeches’

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About Author

traveller with a map

Alyson Blech recently graduated with degrees in Public Relations and Media Studies, along with minors in Journalism and Art History from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Alyson has lived in Iowa her entire life, but decided to cross the pond to gain internship experience in London, England. In her spare time she obsesses over dogs, pizza and zumba.