- Adaptation: Expect the unexpected. Deal with challenges as they arise. Being flexible and adaptable to your environment will make life 10x easier. So your bags got lost in the London airport? Take a deep breath and have a positive attitude. Realize that it is not the end of the world. Everything will work out as long as you keep an open mind through the difficulties.
- Responsibility/ time management: While being abroad, it is easy to get distracted by the adventure and loose sight of why you’re there. Taking responsibility, being accountable, and managing your time is essential to coming back to America with that 4.0! Having the option to explore the world on the weekends is once in a lifetime, but making sure it doesn’t come in the way of schoolwork is key!
- Communication skills: Meeting brand new people allows you to understand other ways of life. You may even learn how to communicate in a new language while abroad!
- Dedication: This skill is improved as soon as you decide that studying abroad is for you. It takes dedication to participate in an Education Abroad program, and it is something you should be extremely proud of accomplishing. As your program continues, dedication is shown through academics and achieving personal goals.
- Sense of humor: Being able to laugh at yourself in embarrassing or uncomfortable situations is important. You may run into incidents in which the way of life is entirely different than what you are used to or expecting. These occurrences will only make you grow as a person and be humbled.
- Confidence: Education abroad is truly a reality check. I promise you will come back a new person. You will have a new outlook on life, your purpose, and ambitions. Taking that first step off the plane is the beginning of a new you. You gain confidence in such a way that your goals and passions become clear and attainable.
Kristie Kovarovic is a senior at The University of Kentucky studying Communications. She participated in the API program in Florence, Italy in Fall 2015.