To the introvert wondering whether or not to study abroad,

Rilee Pickle, Ireland

I know you are super scared of what lies ahead as there are so many unknowns that come with studying abroad. However, studying abroad is the experience of a lifetime and it is one hundred percent worth it! There will be rough days, but in the end you will be thankful for the experience.

Here are some tips for the introvert studying abroad:

Madison Brown, Reading by Living Bridge

Set aside some alone time for yourself.

Though you might feel bad for declining an invitation to go out, it is important to take some time for yourself to recharge after a long day. I am not saying to never go out, but it’s important to realize that taking time for yourself is important.

At the end of a long day I enjoy taking some time for myself by either journal-ing, reading, doing puzzles, listening to music, or watching Netflix.

International Student Painting

Find something to do that is familiar from home.

Studying abroad can be overwhelming at first as you are in a completely new environment and meeting lots of new people from all over the world. This can be completely exhausting for an introvert and it is important to have something that grounds you. For me, walking on the paths around campus really helped clear my head and reminded me of my state park back home.

UL International Day

Introduce yourself to new people.

As introverts we tend to invest in a few close friendships, rather than in lots of general friendships. Meeting new people can be daunting at first as there are so many new people around you during orientation, but don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people.You don’t have to meet lots of people, but by introducing yourself to a few new people you are bound to meet a few good friends.

When I was going to orientation events on my own, I liked to sit by other people that were on their own as well and introduce myself. This was less intimidating than introducing myself to a whole group who already knew each other and by doing this, I met some pretty cool people that I still hang out with.

From an introvert who almost decided not to study abroad due to being intimidated, I can tell you that you will most likely regret it if you do not take a chance and come. Take the chance and go! Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity full of grand adventures, meeting new people, experiencing other cultures, and learning more about yourself along the way.

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