Chances are that even if you have been abroad before for vacation, study abroad will probably be your first time moving abroad. Moving abroad is a big change and can be very stressful, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier on yourself after you arrive.
Take care of yourself
For the first few days, it can be hard to remember to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Between figuring out where to buy groceries and getting your timetable figured out, things like eating and relaxing can fall to the bottom of your to-do list.
Take time to get yourself some fresh fruits and vegetables when you grocery shop. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Find a new way to relax in your new environment, whether it’s playing a new sport (Ireland has some great options!), finding a good book, or whatever works for you.
Get your bearings
Figuring out where to buy things in a new place is a long process. Here are some of the shops that I recommend!
Grocery stores: Right by campus are Aldi, Lidl, and SuperValu. Aldi is generally the closest if you are living on or near campus. They have low prices because they don’t stock name-brand items. You can find a lot of necessities here for pretty cheap! Lidl is very similar, but a little further away. They have a great bakery section with delicious cookies. SuperValu is the biggest store in the area with more specialty items. If you can’t find something at Aldi or Lidl, try SuperValu.
Home-ware stores: If you need sheets or towels, check Penney’s in the city center. A large towel will only set you back about 5 euro. Sheets are usually less than 10 euro, depending on how nice you want them. You can also find cheap clothes here if you need to supplement what you brought with you. If you need cooking utensils, check Home Store + More. It is a little out of the way, but there is a 308 bus stop nearby that makes the journey pretty quick. For Americans, this is shockingly like a Bed Bath & Beyond – down to the layout! You can find a wide variety of cooking dishes, pans, and utensils.
Keep in contact with family and friends
The great thing about study abroad in modern times is that keeping in contact with your loved ones is just a tap away on your phone! Even if you don’t have an international phone plan, there are plenty of services that use wifi that will help you stay in touch. Whatsapp is a really common one that you will see a lot of international students use. You can use this to text, call, and video chat. For a more simple layout for only voice and video calls, check out Google Duo. Anyone with a Google account can use it for free!