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Studying Abroad Next Semester? Here’s What To Prepare

So, you got accepted to study abroad next semester. Now what? Here’s what you should start thinking about before your semester abroad.

Studying Abroad Next Semester? Here’s What To Prepare (Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela via Washington Square News)

by Juliana Guarracino and Lorraine Olaya

This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.

Congratulations, you’ve gotten accepted to study abroad next semester! However, before the fun starts, there’s a lot of planning to do. Here are some tips and advice on what you should start preparing from the seasoned, self-proclaimed study-abroad experts and Parisian city girls, Juliana Guarracino and Lorraine Olaya.

Olaya: Our credentials? We studied abroad in Paris together and traveled to at most three European cities in the same weekend. Plus, Juliana is currently in Buenos Aires and going back to Paris next semester without me. I hate her. 

Guarracino: I love u HAHAHAH 


Guarracino: This will be the first of many emails you will get from NYU about your semester abroad. I know you’ll have the urge to ignore them, but these are not the ones to leave unread. Read every email thoroughly, and note what you actually need to get done and what deadlines you’ll need to meet. If you are not sure if you will meet a deadline, reach out to Global Programs because some deadlines are not flexible. 

Olaya: The visa process was like a fever dream for me. It’s rough and you might not fully understand what you’re doing, but the earlier it gets done, the easier your life will be. Pay attention to those emails, and follow the instructions to a T.

Guarracino: When you do eventually get your visa, make copies and take pictures of it. Not only will that save you if something unfortunate happens to your passport, but it’ll also be helpful for museum visits, payments and other activities that typically require a student identification card.

Olaya: I actually carried around a printed photocopy of my visa in my wallet, and it was such a life saver. I got into so many museums for free or with a discount just because I could show them that I was a student. 

Class Schedule

Olaya: When creating your class schedule for studying abroad, try to frontload as many of your classes as possible. It’s convenient to have a three-day weekend every weekend, especially if you want to travel. Making sure that your Thursday nights and Monday mornings are free will also help you make the most of your weekends. You can easily hop on a flight after your last Thursday class, and come back before your first Monday class. 

Register for site-specific courses, since you can’t take them anywhere else, as well as classes that won’t be too much work. When you’re abroad, there are many more ways to make better use of your time away from home than stressing over an assignment.

Guarracino: In 10 years, you’ll remember your trip to Amsterdam, not the essay that you bombed because you haphazardly wrote it on the train there. 

Olaya: Damn, you’re just calling me out. But, I really do remember our trip to Amsterdam more than that paper I was writing on the train ride there. Plus, for the record, I’m pretty sure I got a B. 

Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.

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