Guest post by Sabrina de Bont. Sabrina spent Spring Quarter 2017 studying at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) in the Netherlands.
I don’t believe I truly felt the differences in myself from my time abroad until I came back to Seattle. I find myself constantly comparing practices done there that are just not done here. I also have found that I am more willing to talk to random people than I used to just because that became a necessity when I was abroad– either I had to ask for help in classes due to cultural differences or I needed to ask a stranger where to go.
Before I went abroad I tended to not talk to other people around campus, but while abroad you are all alone which forces you to go out of your comfort zone quite a bit. Luckily I got to meet the exchange students who are coming to the UW in the fall and am now pretty great friends with some of them and their friends.
After this experience I want to talk to more people around me and especially talk to the exchange students who will be in the same boat I was.
A few tips for students going abroad:
- Do not be afraid to ask for help! People don’t mind as much as you think they do.
- Stay in contact with friends and family back home, it helps a lot to have a touch of home.
- On the flip side make sure to put down your phone and enjoy where you are at. You miss so much if you are always behind your phone or laptop.
- Try to travel around, but do not forget to explore the city you are in.
- Make sure to take care of yourself and remember that every day does not need to be action filled.