An Introduction to Studying Abroad…It Can Be Scary

Before studying abroad there are a lot of fears that are going through your head and that went through my head only a few short months ago. What is Rome going to be like? Will I be able to communicate with the Italians? What if something bad happens?

These are all normal fears! And it’s okay to be afraid of what is going to happen.


To help you out I have listed the Top 5 Common Fears below. Many of these topics are covered in other blog posts so if you are specifically worried about one topic…check them out!

Number One: How do I prepare?

One of my biggest fears before studying abroad was what was I going to pack and what did I need to bring with me. I go into more detail in my blog posts titled Packing for the Trip of a Lifetime and Paperwork, Paperwork…Oh My!. Here are a few quick tips though…PACK LAYERS! That was definitely the best piece of advice I received. No matter what time of year you are going the weather fluctuates. As far as paperwork goes, BRING COPIES! I brought multiple copies of all of my documents, which really benefitted me when applying for my Permesso di Soggiorno (for more information check out my blog post Everything You Need to Know About Legally Staying in Italy). Even if you are trying to pack lightly, the saying “better safe than sorry” really does work.


Number Two: How bad is pickpocketing?

I was so worried before I left if I was going to have all of my money stolen. There are many products out there (which I talk about more in my blog post The City of Pickpocketing?), which can prevent pickpocketing from happening. My number one tip: BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Most people who get pickpocketed are tourists not paying attention, but if you are aware of what is going on around you, you’ll be just fine.

Number Three: How do I balance school and travelling?

To balance school and travelling you need to STAY FOCUSED. It is easy to get caught up in the study abroad experience, but if your parents are anything like mine, your study abroad experience is NOT allowed to affect your GPA in a negative way. I will talk more about how to plan your week and travel experiences in my blog post Balancing Studies with Exploring.

Number Four: What happens if I get lost?

It happens. Getting lost is a part of the Roman experience. KEEP CALM. In Getting Lost…Oops, I talk about all the different ways you can find your way back. But as long as you stay calm you’ll find you where back. Whenever I got lost I always looked for the Tiber River because then I knew exactly where I was. Getting lost is a part of studying abroad…enjoy it!

Number Five: What happens after I return home?

Well…you’re going to be sad for a while. I watched The Lizzie McGuire Movie and cried after I got home. Being sad is a part of it, but whenever you’re sad look back at all the pictures you took. In What Happens After Studying Abroad, I talk about all the different things that you can do with your study abroad pictures! (Also if you haven’t see The Lizzie McGuire Movie, it is a must see before you go to Rome.)


So there you have it. If you’re still afraid and like reading about things like I do, I highly recommend that you check out Hello, World!: Your Guide to Studying Abroad by Julia Sagetree, which was a great read! Just click on the link below if you’re interested:

Hello, World!: Your Guide to Studying Abroad

I also recommend checking out The Do’s and Don’ts to Studying Abroad by David Ramo. The author gives some really great Do’s that I personally benefitted from. If you’re interested check out the link below:

The Do’s and Don’ts to Studying Abroad

Well that’s all for now kiddos. Check out the other blog posts that I mentioned for more information on those fears, but I believe that you are going to have an amazing time in Rome!

Ciao belli!



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