10 Study Abroad Tips for International Students

As someone who has studied and lived abroad, I have compiled a list of 10 study abroad tips to help you survive and thrive as a student living abroad.

10 Study Abroad Tips for International Students

Tip 1: Know Your Destination

Before you leave, make sure you do your research on your destination. Learn about the culture, customs, and laws of the country you will be living in. Knowing what to expect can help you adjust more easily and avoid culture shock. Having good knowledge about the destination helps you fit in better with the local community, which is critical for your overall experience studying abroad. Get on the tourism website of each country and get to know why the country is unique. (e.g., For Australia, australia.com is a great starting point for building your general knowledge.)

Tip 2: Learn the Language

If your destination has a different language, take some time to learn it before you leave. This will help you communicate with locals, make friends, and navigate your new environment. Even if you don’t become fluent, knowing basic phrases can make a big difference. This shouldn’t take someone long but it’s surprising how little people do this. Get on YouTube and spend 30 minutes per day for a few weeks before you start your study abroad journey. Duolingo.com is also a great way to familiarize yourself with a new language.

Tip 3: Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine can help you feel more grounded in your new environment. This can include setting a regular sleep schedule, finding a favorite coffee shop, or joining a local gym. Having a routine can help you feel more at home in a new place. To establish a routine, my advice is to travel to the destination a few weeks ahead before your studies start. This extra time can help you settled in without stress and establish a routine easier.

Tip 4: Make Friends

Making friends can be one of the most challenging aspects of studying abroad, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Join clubs or organizations that interest you, attend social events, and be open to meeting new people. Having a support system can make all the difference. This is an area where I made some mistakes during my time. In my first year, I didn’t go out much and meet new friends much. And this is one of my biggest regrets of my studies in Australia. Get out there, meet new friends and you will not regret this!

Tip 5: Embrace the Culture

Part of the experience of studying abroad is immersing yourself in a new culture. Embrace the differences and try new things. This can include trying new foods, attending local festivals, or learning traditional dances. You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for your host country. From my experience, to this day, I wish I had gone out and explored more during my time studying abroad in Australia. I wish I had tried and visited local areas, made friends with local people.

Tip 6: Stay Connected with Home

Studying abroad can be an exciting time, but it can also be lonely. Stay connected with friends and family back home through video calls, messaging, or social media. They can provide emotional support and help ease homesickness. This is part of a larger theory of well-being called “pillars of self-esteem”. Family and friends are a large pillar for your self-esteem and make sure you maintain that by making regular video calls and connections with your family and loved ones.

Tip 7: Take Care of Your Health

Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential when studying abroad. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. Find local resources for mental health support if you need it. For me, I only realized the importance of taking care of my health only in my last year of study. I experienced a prolonged period of fever due to a virus which impacted every aspect of my last year of study. It affected my studies, my social life and even my relationship. Only when I lack good health that I realized how important health is.

Tip 8: Travel

Studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to travel and explore new places. Take advantage of your location and plan weekend trips to nearby cities or countries. This can broaden your perspective and create unforgettable memories. Curve out some part of your part-time job salary or savings to your travel budget. Explore new places and refresh your minds and make friends along the way.

Tip 9: Study Hard

Don’t lose track of why you are here in the first place; to build a better life through better education. Studying hard and with a focused mind should be one of your top three essential priorities as a student. Write down your targets, build good study routines and habits and don’t lose track of your goals. It is painful but it is required to study hard to build a better life and it will all be worth it! (You can bookmark our site StudySuccess.org to get tips on studying smarter!)

Tip 10: Have Fun!

Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Studying abroad is a unique opportunity that will pass quickly. Make the most of your time by trying new things, making new friends, and creating unforgettable memories.


Studying abroad can be challenging, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. By following these ten study abroad tips, you can survive and thrive as an international student living abroad. Remember to embrace the experience, stay open-minded, and have fun!