Tips for Foreign Exchange

If you have been wanting some good tips for study abroad from a fellow student, look no further.  Below are the tips for study abroad from Katie, who went to Japan for 6 weeks.

1) Stay positive. Although it sounds cheesy, finding the silver lining in every situation will help you so much. This is the best thing to keep in mind while you’re there.If you don’t, you’re going to have major culture shock and be miserable. Everytime something didn’t go the way I hoped, I focused on the good things about it. You can always find something. A lot of the exchange students complained about things that happened to them when they were there when they came back, but I found myself having nothing but positive things to say, even though some of the things they were complaining about had happened to me as well. My stance is that you really shouldn’t have anything to complain about and just be greatful you have the opportunity to be there, and remember that you can make any situation positive.
2) Accept everything you’re confronted with. This goes along with staying positive. Whatever situation you’re in, don’t wish it had gone a different way. Whatever happens to you will be great, and you can always make it fun. Just go with the flow, and take things as the come. Don’t be picky!
3) Don’t have any expectations. Don’t plan out the perfect host family in your head, don’t hope to go to a certain place, because it’s not going to happen. If you have high expectations before going and they’re not met, you’re going to be negative and feel like your experience there sucked. Just know that where ever you end up in Japan, you’re going to have a great time.
4) And, most of all, がんばって! (ganbatte) Don’t get discouraged while you’re there, and stick it out! Even if you’re in a small, rural city like I was, there are new and fun things to explore all the time. Be tough, and don’t give up! Things are hard at first but make every effort to adapt and you’ll have the time of your life.

Hopefully you find this helpful and are now inspired to study abroad!

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About Youth For Understanding USA

Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 60 different countries, is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society. YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs for more than 60 years because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services. Backed by a global team of volunteers, YFU provides cultural education and guidance to all participants. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU is the only organization awarded full-listing for J-1 inbound, outbound and short term exchange by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). Through creating global learning opportunities, YFU has promoted international understanding and world peace to more than 250,000 students and their host families. Thousands of parents across the globe trust YFU with their teenagers every year, and thousands of students every year choose YFU to help them discover their inner selves.
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