1. Live like a local: Whether you're studying off-campus for a summer, semester, or academic year, you'll want to find ways to really connect to the local culture. Join clubs, sport groups or other activities to meet local students. Travel, but not every weekend. Get to know the people in your host community. Shopping, eating and socializing with local students is surely the best way to control costs and as an added bonus you'll get to see and do things that you'd never have access to as a tourist.
2. Write about your experiences: Keep a private journal, online blog, or just send long emails to family and friends -- either way, writing about your experiences can be an important tool in processing your emotions and understanding your time off-campus. If you're interested in sending "Postcards" as part of the F&M Everywhere blogging project, please email Rachel Helwig (). Or, get published! Online and print publications such as Transitions Abroad, Glimpse and Abroad View are often looking for students to contribute articles, blogs or videos of their experiences abroad.
3. Understand culture shock: Whether you're studying in England or Malawi, everyone who goes through the process of adapting to a new culture experiences culture shock.This is a perfectly normal part of off-campus study. Using a new language, shopping and getting around a new country can be hard, but working through these challenges will help you develop a new perspective and a new understanding of yourself.
4. Stay Safe: Review the information on Staying Safe on the F&M website. You'll be able to enjoy your experiences even more knowing that you are healthy and safe. Remember, cultural perceptions (and laws) regarding alcohol and drugs vary by country, so it's important to pay attention to on-site orientation sessions.
5. Stay connected to F&M: Although you aren't physically on-campus, you still have access to many of the resources here at F&M just like you would every semester. Explore the Staying Connected webpage for more information.