If you ever have or are planning on studying abroad, then you know that it’s a big leap. You abandon many of the people and comforts that you’ve grown accustomed to and exchange them for many different levels of uncertainty (which is well worth it, mind you). The first couple weeks in particular can be a bit of a scary time, so it can be important to bring bits and pieces of home with you.
Bring a travel-size bear with you
Anyone who reads the Clog regularly knows that we have a strange affection for Oski, the definitive Golden Bear. Being on a whole new continent means that you’ll be deprived of the Osk, people randomly yelling “Go Bears!” and the context of whatever UCBMFET is raving about. The first night you settle into that unfamiliar room with that new roommate you’ll soon be closer with than you could’ve ever imagined, having a travel-size Oski to place on your nightstand might ease your worries even just a little.
In high-traffic areas, pretend you’re walking down Sproul
Many busy foreign cities come with people running up to you and trying to sell you random and mostly useless things, whether they be selfie sticks, glow-in-the-dark Eiffel Tower statues or beer (maybe this one isn’t so useless). The point is, you’ll feel very overwhelmed in these types of situations, not unlike the first time you walked down Sproul and got bombarded with 20 flyers. When you think about it, it’s really not that different.
Don’t be afraid to discuss world issues with locals
The world is a very weird place at the moment, and when going abroad you’ll likely be asked about Trump or whatever madness is taking over the worldwide news. Fortunately, the locals will be more likely to sympathize with you than to attack you, and the country you’re visiting will likely have some political issues of its own. So, feel free to discuss the hard topics if you please, just as long as you’re aware that you’re severely outnumbered if tensions rise.
FaceTime your peeps regularly
While it may feel like you’ve dropped your old life and traded it in for a new one while abroad, there are still people back home interested in hearing how you’re doing. So, while it’s important to live your best life while overseas, make time to check in with your friends and family and keep them up to speed on your travels. Just make sure you keep the time zone difference in mind so that you don’t accidentally call your parents at 3 a.m.
Best of luck with all of your future travels, Bears! Don’t forget to bring a slice of Berkeley (and Artichoke’s, for that matter) along with you!
Contact Doug Smith at [email protected].