Friday, 3 October 2014

My Year Abroad: What I Wish I'd Been Told

Truth be told, my Year Abroad did, at times, truly disappoint more than delight - optimism is a hard flame to rekindle once a stranger's snuck into your flat three times after all... but that's a story for another time! I've compiled a list of the realistic things I wish I'd heard before the move to France; not the ridiculous claims about the glamour and the lifestyle (bollocks, by the way) but the nitty gritty about what to actually expect. I'm hoping this will prove at least slightly helpful to those of you who've just made your way there!
  1. Make travelling a priority: doing amazingly at a job you're never going to repeat is not worth caring about.
  2. It's not going to be the best year of your life
  3. You feel homesick, lonely and isolated.
  4. You've already had Freshers - you won't learn much from another year of partying.
  5. Foreign flus = Freshers flu x 1000
  6. You will change, for the better.
  7. Make the most of your friendships.
  8. Find every opportunity to speak the native language.
  9. French pastries are amazing.
  10. No matter how much you think you hate it at the time, you'll miss it after.
  11. Reverse culture shock is almost worse than culture shock, as it's unlikely you'll be properly expecting it.
  12. Write letters to your mum - she will love them.
  13. Find a new hobby/passion.
  14. Take millions of photos.
  16. Have your exit strategy sorted - how do you close your bank account? Cancel your phone contract? Tell your landlord you're moving out? You get the idea.
  17. Just because you didn't enjoy every second does not mean you have failed.
  18. Places are just places. Paris is just a big city. France is just a slightly less developed country. Let go of any romanticised ideas.
  20. The cheese is the bomb!
There is also the truth that other people's years look far better than reality on their Facebook/Instagram, so don't beat yourself up if it looks like you're having a lame time compared with everyone else!

While we are on the subject - this is a shameless chance to share what were some of my highlights, and I am taking it...
Have any of you guys lived abroad? How did you find the experience if you did - and if you haven't, where would you must like to go?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...