Living Abroad

The time you spend abroad is going to be the most exciting part of your degree. However, just as you did when you started university, life abroad will involve a period of adjustment during which you will learn to understand a cultural system with different rules, signals, values and ideas from those you are familiar with. Your experience of life abroad will change over time. Typically, you may go from the initial feelings of excitement (the so-called honeymoon period) to a sensation of anxiety and homesickness... this is normal and is part of your adjustment phase. It will pass. Do not let this phase destroy and amazing opportunity to learn and grow. Most students have a great time abroad and are sad to leave when their placement is over.

Initially, you may also feel that your language skills are being tested to their limit. You may struggle to understand the local accent and to communicate with people. This too will pass! Do not be shy! Do not be afraid of asking questions or of admitting that you did not understand something. Keep using your target language and try to socialize with local people (not just other Erasmus students). Most university towns have a good range of facilities so... go to the cinema, join local societies, the gym, etc. Trying to pursue your hobbies abroad is an excellent way of meeting new people and making new friends.

Do not be afraid of trying new things, particularly when it comes to food as food is one of the most important parts of any culture. Regarding alcohol consumption, however, remember that the kind of drinking prevalent among some students in the UK is very rarely considered to be socially acceptable in other countries. Binge drinking is usually frowned upon.

Please, remember that in some countries you may need to register with the local police when you arrive. Ask your year abroad tutor if this is the case in the country you are going to and/or check our country-specific pages.

During your adjustment phase, the websites below may provide you with useful information on how to deal with homesickness:

Accommodation

Please remember that finding accommodation abroad is your responsibility as it is in the UK. Some universities offer rooms in halls but these must be booked in advance: often you need to submit housing application form together with your university registration form. If your application is successful and you accept an offer, this is a binding agreement and if you change your mind you may lose your deposit and be asked to pay a penalty.

Alternatively, you may find a room in private accommodation but it is advisable you go and see the place before booking. We strongly recommend staying in a youth hostel for the first few days of your placement so that you can go and see rooms and meet perspective flatmates before making a decision.

For useful information on how to find accommodation abroad see also: