Make Sure Your Passport is Up to Date
If you’re getting ready to study overseas next semester at UMass Dartmouth, one of the most important things you need to do is make sure your passport is up to date. There’s nothing worse than realizing last minute that your passport has expired! Start the renewal process several months in advance, as it can take 4-6 weeks for processing. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough empty passport pages for any entry stamps or visas you may need. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity, but don’t let an expired passport ruin your plans!
Once you’ve verified your passport is good to go, the next step is diving into all the study abroad program options available to you as a UMass Dartmouth student. There are programs focused on everything from language immersion, to international business, to marine biology. Do your research and figure out which program best aligns with your academic and career goals. Reach out to your academic advisor if you need help weighing the pros and cons of different programs.
Finances are often one of the biggest barriers when it comes to studying abroad, but don’t let that stop you from applying! There are tons of scholarships and grants specifically aimed at students who want an international experience. The UMass Dartmouth study abroad office is a great resource for finding funding opportunities. You can also check with third party providers like CIEE and IES Abroad, as they offer scholarships to students participating in their programs.
Once you’ve settled on a program, it’s time to pick your classes abroad carefully. Make sure the credits will transfer back to UMass Dartmouth so you stay on track for graduation. Talk to your academic advisor about how to best match up classes offered at the overseas university with your major requirements. Some programs allow you to take classes in English while others focus on total language immersion, so keep that factor in mind when deciding where to study.
Housing is another big detail to figure out before your semester overseas. Many study abroad programs will place you with a host family so you’re fully immersed in the local culture. For a more independent experience, you can opt for a shared apartment with other international students. If you’ll be taking classes at an overseas university, they may have dorms on campus available to visiting students. Do your housing research early so you have peace of mind that you’ll have an affordable, safe place to live.
Packing is always a challenge when studying abroad, as space in your luggage is limited. The key is to pack light and smart! Start by reading up on the weather and climate of your host country so you know what type of clothes to bring. Focus on versatile pieces that can be easily layered and mixed-and-matched. Don’t forget necessities like medication and toiletries, which can be hard to find abroad. A sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes is also important for exploring your new city.
While English is spoken in many countries, making an effort to learn the local language shows respect for the culture you’ll be immersed in. Even just mastering basic phrases and etiquette rules can make day-to-day interactions much smoother. UMass Dartmouth likely offers beginner language courses for the region you’ll be traveling to, so enroll early! There are also great apps to help you learn language basics on-the-go.
One of the best parts of studying abroad is getting to fully immerse yourself in a new culture. Get out and explore – try new foods, watch sports games, go see museums and landmarks. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with locals. Some of the richest experiences happen spontaneously as you navigate day-to-day life in your host city. Keep an open mind, a sense of adventure, and appreciate the nuances you discover.
With your nose-to-the-grindstone during the week in classes, be sure to take advantage of any long weekends or breaks to travel. Train passes are an affordable way to see nearby cities and countries you may not have a chance to visit again. Research discount travel options in advance so you can make the most of your time off. Soak in as much as you can – this is the perfect opportunity to check countries off your bucket list!
Even halfway across the world, stay connected with friends and family back home to avoid homesickness. Set up a regular phone or video call with your loved ones to fill them in on all your new experiences. Social media is another great tool to give people visual updates on your semester abroad. Consider starting a blog to practice writing and processing everything you’re learning. Scheduling virtual coffee dates is a nice way to get your home fix.
A camera is absolutely essential to document your time studying overseas. You’ll come back with an incredible collection of photos and videos to look back on and share. Get shots of the friends you meet, your daily life, cultural experiences, weekend travels and more. Don’t count on remembering everything – photos will help preserve those irreplaceable memories vividly.
Journals are another way to process your study abroad experience. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, challenges and milestones throughout the semester will be incredible to look back on. You can even journal by sending letters or emails to family and friends back home. These will serve as thoughtful keepsakes reminding you of everything you learned and accomplished during your semester overseas.
One of the most rewarding parts of studying abroad is forging new relationships with people from all over the world. Be open to meeting locals, other international students, professors – you never know who might become a lifelong friend. Make an effort to connect with those around you through cultural exchanges, language tutoring, cooking meals together and more.
After returning home from your incredible semester overseas, stay connected with the people and places that made such an impact. Follow up with those friends you bonded with and try to make plans to visit each other someday. Keep up with language learning and cultural experiences that you enjoyed abroad. Let the relationships and growth you achieved continue to shape who you are.
Studying abroad is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You gain so much personally and professionally by being immersed in a new culture and perspective. Make the most of your semester at UMass Dartmouth by preparing in advance, staying organized, keeping an open mind, and finding ways to apply what you learned back home. The lessons you gain from studying overseas will stay with you for life.
Research Different Study Abroad Programs Available
Now that your passport is primed for an international adventure, it’s time to dive into researching all the different study abroad programs available to you as a student at UMass Dartmouth. With options spanning the globe, from England to China, this exciting step can feel a bit overwhelming. Start by browsing the university’s study abroad office website, looking at destinations and subject areas that initially pique your interest.
Narrow your options by thinking about what you hope to gain academically from studying overseas. Are you a business major who wants to learn about international commerce? Maybe you’re interested in ecology and want to study marine biology abroad. If language skills are your focus, target programs in countries where you can immerse yourself in Spanish, French or Chinese. Aligning the program curriculum with your goals and interests will ensure a rewarding experience.
Logistically, also consider what countries are most feasible for your budget, language skills, and travel comfort level. Programs in Western Europe tend to be more budget-friendly for US students. If you’re just starting to learn a language, pick a country where you can receive some instruction in English to ease the transition. Stepping too far outside your comfort zone can be an unpleasant culture shock, so be honest about what you’re prepared for.
Reach out to students who have participated in the programs you’re interested in to get insight on their experiences. Check in with your academic advisor as well, to make sure the programs you’re considering will provide credits that seamlessly transfer back towards your UMass Dartmouth degree. This will prevent any surprise hiccups that can complicate graduation plans.
In your research process, don’t forget about scholarships and grants specifically aimed at students studying internationally. Many programs provide awards and funding opportunities to lower the financial burden of studying overseas. This can make an especially expensive program more feasible. Be diligent about applying for any and all scholarships you encounter that are applicable – it will pay off!
Study abroad is meant to be flexible, exciting, and transformative, so don’t over-plan every detail. Leave room for embracing spontenaiety and going with the flow. That said, once you’ve selected a program that lines up with your goals both in and out of the classroom, you’ll have the peace of mind to let the experience unfold naturally. With an open mindset, you’re bound to have an unforgettable semester that shapes your UMass Dartmouth education and life in incredible ways.
When deciding where to study abroad, don’t be afraid to reach for your “dream location” – this is your chance! But also recognize when a location may not be the right fit. Try not to let friends or trends sway your decision too heavily – follow your instincts on which program calls to you. Finding the ideal study abroad option for your interests, resources and personality takes time and contemplation. But the investment is well worth it for an experience sure to change your global perspective profoundly.
Look Into Scholarships and Financial Aid
Howdy folks, have you ever thought about studying overseas? If not, I definitely recommend taking a semester abroad while in college. There are so many benefits – you get to experience a new culture, travel, meet people from all over the world, and so much more. I studied abroad at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth a few semesters ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re thinking about studying abroad next semester, UMass Dartmouth has some great programs to choose from. But before you commit, here are some tips to make sure you don’t miss out on any potential financial aid or scholarships.
First and foremost, talk to your academic advisor and the study abroad office at your university. They’ll know all the ins and outs of what aid and scholarships are available. When I was researching study abroad programs, I discovered there were some scholarships specifically for students going abroad that I never would have found otherwise. The advisors can help you navigate what financial resources you can tap into.
Also, don’t forget about your existing financial aid. Most government grants, loans, and scholarships can be used for study abroad. Work study programs may also be able to transfer over. Double check with your university’s financial aid office about the details. You’ve already put in the work to get financial assistance for college, so you might as well take full advantage while abroad!
Additionally, look into scholarships and grants specifically for study abroad opportunities. Large national organizations like the Institute of International Education and Phi Theta Kappa offer scholarships for students planning to study overseas. There are also often smaller local scholarships as well – check in with your community organizations and high school guidance counselors.
Finally, UMass Dartmouth may offer scholarships and grants for students studying abroad at their satellite campuses. I was able to get a small scholarship from UMass Dartmouth when I went abroad, which was a nice bonus. Definitely reach out to the International Programs office to see what funding they have available.
Studying overseas is an investment, but with some dedicated searching and planning, you can find the grants, scholarships, and financial aid needed to make it affordable. My semester abroad didn’t end up costing me any more than a regular semester on campus once I secured some additional funding. If you have your heart set on going abroad, don’t let financial constraints stop you! Put in the work to find available aid and budget wisely. It’ll be well worth it for the life-changing experience.
Okay, now that we’ve covered finding money for your semester abroad, let’s talk about some of the amazing program options at UMass Dartmouth! The university has partnerships with schools all over the world, so you really have your pick of destination. Are you interested in studying foreign language and cultural immersion? Check out their programs in Italy, Japan, or Austria. Want to broaden your worldview by living in an up-and-coming economy? Consider Brazil, China, or South Africa. If you’re just looking for an English-speaking country where you’ll be surrounded by other international students, the UMass Dartmouth programs in Australia, England, and Ireland are great choices.
UMass Dartmouth also has a diverse array of subject areas and customizable program lengths available abroad. You could study environmental science and sustainability in Costa Rica, business in Germany, architecture and design in Denmark, or political science and law in Argentina, to name just a few options. Programs range from a summer term to a full year overseas. I chose to spend a semester in England, which I found to be the perfect amount of time to get fully immersed in the culture while still working toward my degree.
In addition to academics, studying abroad with UMass Dartmouth gives you the chance to really explore and experience the local region. My program included some amazing field trips – we got to visit Stonehenge, tour London, try local cuisine in Bath, and so much more. I got to check out parts of England I never would have seen just traveling on my own! The university plans awesome cultural excursions to help you learn about the people and places you’ll call home for a few months.
If next semester feels like the right time for you to spread your wings, I highly recommend checking out the UMass Dartmouth study abroad options. Their programs are top-notch and let you completely customize your experience based on location, subject matter, and length. An advisor can walk you through all the different opportunities and help select one that fits your goals. And remember, getting a semester overseas doesn’t have to break the bank thanks to financial aid, scholarships, and grants. Start planning your adventure today and you could be immersed in a whole new culture and university campus next semester!
Pick Your Classes Abroad Carefully
How’s it going, friends? If you’re thinking about studying overseas, one of the most exciting parts is getting to pick new classes you’ll take abroad. But choosing courses for your semester at UMass Dartmouth requires some strategy. You’ll want to make sure the classes align with your major and will transfer back home. Here are my tips for navigating course selection for a successful study abroad experience.
First, thoroughly review the course catalog for your program well in advance. This will give you an idea of the options and let you start planning. Try to choose classes that are related to your major or general education requirements so that the credits are more likely to transfer back to your home university. For example, since I was an English major, I made sure to take British Literature when I was at UMass Dartmouth’s campus in England.
Next, contact your academic advisor to get their input on which courses to take abroad. Provide them with descriptions of the classes you’re interested in and ask if they fulfill any requirements. Your advisor can guide you in selecting options that will keep you on track for graduation. Their approval on courses will also streamline the transfer credit process later.
Also, reach out to other students who have studied overseas, either with UMass Dartmouth or in general. Get their insight on which classes were the most interesting or meaningful. Since you likely can’t choose all the courses that look appealing, it helps to narrow it down based on other students’ experiences. For example, my friend who studied abroad in Spain recommended I take a class on Catalan culture, which ended up being one of my favorites.
In addition to courses directly related to your major, consider choosing an elective or two outside your comfort zone. Part of studying abroad is trying new things and expanding your worldview. Maybe take an art history course in Italy or a class on African politics while in South Africa. Branch out with experiential learning opportunities as well – things like community service projects or internships. This allows you to supplement your classroom learning through real world interactions and applications.
While you’ll want to take mostly serious courses, it’s okay to add in something fun as an elective too. When I was in England, I chose a course on the lore of British castles and countryside. It involved several enjoyable weekend field trips to visit various castles and abbeys, providing a nice balance to my more intensive literature courses. Don’t be afraid to pick something a bit frivolous or travel-related to enjoy your time abroad.
Finally, don’t overload your schedule while overseas! Part of the study abroad experience is having time to travel, explore the local culture, and bond with international peers. Save some days for excursions and activities outside of class. Consider taking 1-2 fewer courses abroad than you would on your home campus. The adjustment to a new environment can be challenging, so leave space to immerse yourself in the regional way of life.
Choosing classes for your semester at UMass Dartmouth gives you the perfect chance to mold an educational experience suited to your goals. Tap into your school’s and advisor’s resources to understand transfer credit logistics. Talk to past study abroad students about meaningful courses. Branch out from your major while aligning electives to your overseas location. And be sure to maintain a balanced schedule that allows time for enrichment beyond the classroom. With some planning and strategy, you can craft a slate of courses to maximize your semester abroad and come back with new knowledge as well as unforgettable memories.
Alright, we’ve covered finding financial aid and picking classes for your study abroad experience. Now let’s get into some of the other preparation you should tackle before heading overseas next semester. There are a few key action items to check off your list in advance so everything goes smoothly once you arrive in your host country.
One of the biggest prep tasks is getting your passport and visa secured. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the dates you’ll be abroad. Research the visa requirements for your desired country and leave plenty of time for processing. The rules vary greatly depending on the location, so check with your study abroad office and the consulate early. Compiling all the paperwork and finalizing your visa takes time, so start on it right away.
It’s also important to look into any immunizations recommended for your destination and get scheduled with your doctor for any required or suggested vaccines. Different regions of the world have different health considerations, so meet with your physician or campus health center to discuss your specific needs. You’ll want to take care of this early, as some immunization courses require multiple doses over several weeks or months.
Make time for some cultural learning as well before departure. Read up on local customs, etiquette tips, and norms in your country of study. Familiarize yourself with some basic handy phrases in the local language. This will help you avoid faux pas when interacting with community members. Knowledge of cultural standards is key to assimilating smoothly.
Meeting with your academic advisor is also key pre-departure. Make sure you are crystal clear on your required courses, credit transfers, graduation plans, etc. Confirm that your planned study abroad curriculum will keep you on the path toward your degree. The last thing you want is any surprise news about credits not fulfilling requirements once you return.
Preparing for life overseas takes time, organization, and planning ahead. But checking things like paperwork, healthcare, academics, and cultural awareness off your to-do list will give you immense peace of mind. Before you know it, you’ll be all set to head abroad and start an amazing semester at UMass Dartmouth! Just be sure to take care of the logistics in advance so you can focus on embracing the experience once there.
Arrange Housing Accommodations
Ready to study overseas next semester at UMass Dartmouth? Preparing for an international university experience is exhilarating yet challenging. While academic life will likely consume much of your mental bandwidth, don’t neglect the critical process of securing proper housing. This task requires advance planning, cultural awareness, financial savvy, and flexibility. Approach it methodically and you’ll be resting easy in your new overseas homestead in no time!
First, investigate the accommodation options available through your host university’s international programs office. Many schools offer dedicated housing for visiting students. This route simplifies logistics enormously. You’ll plug into a ready-made community and an on-site support structure. Housing blocks reserved for international students put you alongside fellow adventurers from around the world. Imagine the rich cultural exchange and lifelong bonds that could emerge from shared quarters with a German physicist, Chilean poet, Japanese engineer, and French sculptor! Daily life becomes a transformative immersion experience.
University housing also removes the risks associated with securing lodging sight unseen. You won’t fall victim to rental scams or fraud. The units are vetted, regulated, and maintained by professional staff. Getting locked out at 2 AM? No problem, campus security can lend a hand. Many complexes even have resident advisors to resolve issues, organize programs, and foster community. This perk is well worth the tradeoff of somewhat less living autonomy than an off-campus apartment.
That said, independent housing does offer benefits, especially for more seasoned travelers. With your own flat, you dictate the terms. Host fastidious clean-freaks or carefree bohemians as roommates. Set quiet hours or party all night. Decorate liberally with color crazy locker hooking and hang a giant penn state lacrosse t shirt as a tapestry. You call the shots. An apartment also immerses you more fully into the rhythm of local life. You’ll rub elbows with neighbors at the corner market, bond with shopkeepers, and adapt to district norms and customs.
Begin your housing search by scoping out online rental sites popular among locals. Browsing listings provides helpful orientation on pricing, amenities, and neighborhood character. Consult expat blogs and forums for additional insights, like hidden fees and scam warnings. Some study abroad offices maintain regularly updated living guides with vetted landlords willing to rent to foreign students.
If possible, secure a short-term sublet. This gives you time to learn the lay of the land before committing long-term. Seek places near major public transit lines for easy campus commute. Confirm billing procedures for utilities like heat, electricity, and wifi. Get clarity on lease terminating policies should you decide to move. Ask current tenant references about the property and landlord. Schedule video tours for visual walkthroughs of facilities.
Budget wisely based on local standard costs plus projected personal expenses. Account for fluctuating currency exchange rates and international transaction fees. Have funding streams lined up through financial aid awards, education loans, family contributions, part-time work or savings. Many landlords require upfront payment of first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit.
Notify your bank and credit card companies of your overseas travel dates to prevent account suspension. Obtain proper adapter plugs to charge devices. Arrange for plan-enabled smartphones if relying on mobile connectivity. Secure any necessary renter’s insurance for personal liability and property loss coverage.
Get clear on utility connection logistics. Set up electricity, gas, water, and internet accounts as required. Clarify garbage and recycling processes. Turn on heating if renting in a cold climate. Ask landlords about laundry provisions like washers, dryers, or laundromats. Note if units come furnished, or plan for acquiring furnishings on-site.
Request local safety information from your study abroad office. Obtain emergency contact details for police and hospitals. Identify the nearest embassy or consulate relative to planned housing. Be aware of areas known for higher crime or isolation and make sensible accommodations in your activities and travel habits.
Predeparture, ship over any bulky items not easily sourced overseas. This could include special mattresses or pillows, high-quality headphones, or favorite high-performance athletic gear. Pack properly for the regional climate. Those Minnesota winters call for thick woolens! Similarly, lightweight fabrics suit steamy Singapore. Include electric converters, extra passport photos, and medical records.
Upon arrival, confirm housing condition and inventory provided furnishings and amenities. Document any defects via video and photos. Join local community message boards and Facebook groups to stay on the radar. Introduce yourself to neighbors for insider area insights. Begin compiling your own neighborhood guide of laundry spots, corner grocers, and hole-in-the-wall eateries.
Immerse yourself in the experience fully, but make well-being the priority if challenges emerge. Stuck with an eccentric shut-in for a roommate? Politely seek a transfer. Daily 2-hour transit commute wearing you down? Scout closer apartments and make the switch. Landlord troubles? Consult your study abroad office for mediation support or new referrals.
The world is your oyster when studying overseas! Savor every moment, but lay the groundwork needed to thrive. Finding the optimal housing sets the stage for an unforgettable international journey. It may feel daunting at first, but embrace the adventure spirit and before you know it, you’ll be nestled comfortably in your new global home.
Pack Light and Smart
Ready to study overseas next semester at UMass Dartmouth? As your departure date nears, your mind is likely buzzing with equal parts exhilaration and anxiety. Preparing for a semester abroad involves checklists galore, from visa paperwork to travel logistics. Don’t let the packing process get lost in the shuffle. Honing your luggage strategy can make or break your travel experience.
Packing challenges intensify when studying internationally. Airlines strictly limit baggage allowances, so you must condense your entire life into one or two compact bags. Regional weather variations demand clothes spanning the spectrum from puffy parkas to breezy sundresses. Add bulky gear like shoes, laptops and DSLR cameras. Before you know it, your piles occupy every inch of bedroom floor space!
The secret? Edit ruthlessly. Follow the twice-worn rule – if you didn’t wear an item more than twice in the last year, leave it behind. Pare down to basics you can remix and layer creatively. Stick to a minimal color palette of black, gray, navy and denim hues. Roll clothes tightly and utilize every nook and cranny. Wear bulkiest shoes and jacket for travel.
Travel-size all toiletries into 3-ounce containers. Squeeze out extra toothpaste; de-bulk makeup brushes. Stock up on medication, contacts, prescription glasses. Bring electrical adapters, passport, vaccine records, student visa, credit and ATM cards, emergency cash.
Pack photos, journal, playing cards, and other home comforts. Include chic hobo bag as personal item for university. Weigh luggage repeatedly, redistributing contents to avoid overages. If still overweight, ship extra boxes ahead via UPS.
Leave behind most electronics and buy locally. Bring only laptop, smartphone, portable charger, headphones, and key tech accessories. For cold climates, pack base layers, wool socks, gloves, hat, and scarf. Add lightweight raincoat and compact umbrella. Include one nicer outfit and shoes for special events.
Roll clothes vertically and stuff socks and underwear into shoes. Use packing cubes, vacuumed space bags and lightweight organizers. Layer carefully – heavier objects on bottom, lighter on top. Secure bottles upright in Ziploc bags. Cover dress shoes to avoid scuffing.
Avoid checking bags if possible. Some airlines approve carry-on + personal item only. Pack essentials like medication and one change of clothes in carry-on case. Check heavier items like shoes, books, and winter wear. Affix ID tags inside and outside all luggage.
Upon arrival, launder clothes to freshen after transit. Hang items you want to keep wrinkle-free. Set up space-saving organizers and storage hacks in your room. Purchase additional basics like towels as needed. Seek out local laundry facilities nearby your housing.
When preparing for departure, box up souvenirs and ship home. Leave room for regional specialty purchases by shedding clothes no longer needed. Discard items picked up along the journey that you no longer use or want to pack. Mail unworn items home if running out of space.
Evaluate your wardrobe mix. Save outfits you love and wore often. Note items you barely wore to avoid packing again. Donate quality goods not wanted. Verify nothing was left behind in drawers, closets and under beds!
If you plan to travel regionally during your program, pack even lighter. Limit to a foldable backpack or small carry-on you can stash overhead. Pack clothes that layer well for variable temperatures. Include one walking/athletic shoe. Roll clothes tightly and stuff socks and underwear into crevices. Wear bulkier shoes and jacket.
Living with a single backpack keeps you agile. You can hop between hostels nimbly or trek into the wilderness. You’ll have room for acquired souvenirs and mementos along the journey. Just wash clothes quickly in sinks and dry overnight to rewear.
Follow your host university’s mailing guidance for shipping belongings back home after the program concludes. Lead times can be 6-8 weeks via sea freight. If pressed for time, use expedited air mail or freight. Get itemized value estimates and consider added insurance for electronics and valuables.
Weigh options for transporting special keepsakes like musical instruments, sports equipment or oversize art projects. Fees vary greatly for guitars, surfboards, etc. If feasible, pay extra luggage fees for air travel versus costly shipping.
Practice your airport screening routine. Unpack then repack bags multiple times. Time yourself – can you remove laptops, liquids, medications quickly? Familiarize yourself with latest TSA guidelines.
Travel is a journey of discovery. Don’t burden yourself with mounds of material possessions. Experience the liberating thrill of living life unencumbered, on the move. A thoughtfully packed bag gives you freedom – to connect, explore, learn and just be. The memories made will far outweigh any forgotten items left behind.
Learn Some of the Native Language Before Studying Abroad at UMass Dartmouth
If you’re considering studying abroad for a semester at UMass Dartmouth, one of the best ways to prepare is by learning some basic phrases and vocabulary in the native language of your host country. Even just mastering a few key words and common greetings shows respect for the local culture and helps you get around more easily. Let’s explore some simple steps for gaining a beginner’s grasp of the local lingo before your study abroad adventure begins!
First, identify which language you’ll need to know. If you’re going to France, brush up on your French. For Spain, get familiar with Spanish basics. You’ll want to learn as much as you can, but focusing on common words and phrases used in everyday interactions is a good place to start. Apps like Duolingo are great for building vocabulary and practicing pronunciation at your own pace.
Learn simple greetings like “hello,” “good morning,” and “goodbye” in the local language. These pleasantries go a long way when meeting new people or shopping at local businesses. Being able to say “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” is also essential manners for basic communication.
Study how to introduce yourself by saying your name and that you are a student. Learn key words and questions like, “Where is…?” or “How much does this cost?” to get help with directions or transactions. Numbers, days of the week, and months in the language are also handy to pick up. Focus on the phrases you would use when meeting fellow students or asking professors questions in class.
Additionally, gain awareness of cultural customs related to body language and etiquette in your host country. Some gestures, like a thumbs up, mean different things in certain cultures. Knowing when to shake hands, nod, bow, or kiss on the cheek can help you make good first impressions.
Look up the words for common food items so you can decipher menus and order at restaurants more confidently. If you have dietary restrictions, learn how to explain them clearly in the local language. Discover how to ask if dishes contain ingredients you want to avoid.
Study key emergency phrases like, “Help!” or “Call a doctor!” in case of illness or injury. Memorize how to ask for help and report crimes to local authorities just to be safe. Learn terminology for medical issues, especially any personal health conditions, should the need arise.
If time allows, gain insight into colloquial terms and slang used by native speakers. This can help you converse casually with students your age and understand cultural references. But focus on polite language for more formal academic and professional settings.
Practice pronunciation regularly so you become comfortable speaking the language. Apps, audio lessons, YouTube videos, and chatting with native speakers (in person or online) are great ways to improve. Mimic native pronunciations and inflection as closely as you can.
Don’t try to become fluent before you depart, just aim for proficiency with key travel phrases and vocabulary you’ll use daily. The best way to ramp up from basics is by full immersion once you’re abroad. Don’t be shy practicing with locals – it’s flattering when foreign students try their language skills.
Keep a small translation dictionary on hand, but try conversing naturally as much as possible. The more vocabulary and grammar you gain before studying abroad, the smoother your transition will be. But don’t stress about perfection – you’ll learn on site! The most important words and phrases to learn beforehand are the ones that bring you comfort, boost your confidence, and set you up for success interacting in your host country.
Even minimal language skills pave the way for an enriching study abroad experience. Respectfully engaging with the local language shows you value the culture and want to connect authentically. So do some preparation and learn conversational basics, but also trust that immersion will accelerate your language acquisition exponentially. Studying abroad is as much about the journey as the destination – embrace each new word and phrase you gain.
Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture When Studying Abroad at UMass Dartmouth
Studying abroad at UMass Dartmouth is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. Going beyond your comfort zone and embracing local customs, cuisine, and day-to-day life is key for a fulfilling experience. Here are some tips to dive into cultural immersion during your semester overseas.
Start by researching popular local activities and sites before you depart. Make a list of cultural experiences you hope to try based on your interests and must-see attractions. Plot these out on a map to visualize exploring the region. This gives you ideas for weekends and free time in your host city.
When you arrive, walk around the neighborhood to observe how locals live. Notice the architecture, shops, green spaces, and transportation modes that make the area unique. Wandering new places yields cultural discoveries and helps you feel at home.
Intentionally patron local businesses, from cafes to bookstores to markets, as much as possible. Practice your language skills with merchants and chat with regulars to gain insight into daily life. Shopping locally boosts your cultural familiarity exponentially.
Make an effort to meet local students through mixes, clubs, and campus events. Building friendships helps you truly experience youth culture and gain coveted insider tips. Bond over shared interests and let local friends guide you off the beaten path.
Attend local festivals, concerts, museums, and events. Consul your networks for the coolest happenings during your stay. Immersing yourself in local entertainment scenes provides cultural engagement you can’t find in guidebooks.
Enroll in a language immersion class to rapidly gain conversational skills from native teachers. Supplementary language lessons teach vocabulary for navigating everyday interactions, further boosting your integration.
Explore outdoor markets, street fairs, and pop-up shops. These temporary events offer authentic glimpses into regional flavors and local artisans. Let spontaneity lead you to impromptu cultural moments.
Take public transportation whenever possible to blend in as a real local. Buses, trains, and bikes provide community connectivity far beyond taxis. Glean cultural insights from commuting alongside residents.
Sample authentic cuisine at hole-in-the-wall eateries outside main tourist zones. Culinary adventures reveal tried-and-true regional flavors. Learn from the locals how to order menus like a native.
Accept invitations to people’s homes and immerse yourself in family cultural traditions. Share a home-cooked meal or holiday celebration and gain profound firsthand experiences of local lifestyles.
Learn traditional games, songs, and dances at recreational centers and community spaces. Not only is this fun, you’ll also discover how leisure time is enjoyed locally.
Visit religious spaces central to the local culture like temples, churches, and shrines. Be respectful and open-minded to learn while observing spiritual practices and ceremonies.
Record your cultural explorations through photos, videos, journals, and blogs to look back on. Share immersive experiences with friends and family back home too.
Step outside your comfort zone to try new things that locals do. From karaoke to gym classes to volunteering, saying yes leads to enlightening cultural exchanges.
Smile warmly, make eye contact, and be patient while adjusting to cultural norms. Locals will appreciate your interest in integrating respectfully and graciously.
Research basic etiquette like greetings and table manners to avoid offending locals unintentionally. Cultural faux pas stick out, so preparing prevents awkward moments.
Learning the local language opens doors to make meaningful connections exponentially faster. Practice speaking at every opportunity to improve quickly.
Immersing yourself in local cultural, while challenging at times, fosters life-changing personal growth and perspective. Embracing a curiosity mindset and going with the flow increases your sense of belonging. Studying abroad is a chance to gain cultural fluency you’ll carry home and cherish forever. Drink in all you can from the local wellspring of customs, cuisine, and lifestyles unique to the region and this moment in your student journey overseas.
Travel on Weekends to See Nearby Sites When Studying Abroad at UMass Dartmouth
Studying abroad opens the door to adventure. Take advantage of free weekends and planned breaks to see incredible sites near your host university. Traveling locally and regionally while on semester overseas at UMass Dartmouth creates memories that will last a lifetime.
Start planning regional travel from day one. Research must-see destinations, festivals, natural wonders, and attractions within train/bus distance. Make a bucket list to map out your travels and prioritize where you most want to go.
For tips, check out blogs of past students and ask UMass Dartmouth program alumni for travel recommendations. Your resident advisor likely has insider knowledge too. Guidebooks and travel sites help uncover hidden gems.
Form a travel squad with new international friends to split costs and navigate together. Travel buddies make trips more fun and help capture amazing moments. Plus meeting locals brings invaluable cultural immersion.
Take advantage of centrally located student housing to reduce transportation time and costs getting to/from travel hubs and airports. Proximity saves hours over commuting from further suburbs.
Leverage public transportation like trains and buses for ease and affordability. Download transit apps, learn timetables and purchase passes to jet around efficiently.
Pack light using a carry-on and backpack to avoid checked bag fees and wasting time waiting at baggage claims. Limiting luggage also increases mobility exploring sites once you arrive.
Book affordable lodging like hostels, homestays, Airbnbs or rooms with distant relatives of friends. Traveling on a student budget requires resourcefulness.
Pre-research transit options at destinations to avoid hassles arriving. Knowing which trains, buses, boats or bikes to use saves you stress.
Wake up early on travel days to maximize time exploring once you arrive. Avoid sleeping in then rushing to see sights before they close.
Purchase attraction tickets and passes in advance online when possible to skip long box office lines. Check for student and advance-purchase discounts.
Pack snacks, water and basic first aid supplies for full travel days. Staying fueled and avoiding headaches makes trips more pleasant. You’ll likely walk a ton sightseeing.
Carry student ID cards to qualify for reduced rates at museums, shows and historical places. Flaunt your student status as much as possible.
If renting a car, book the smallest model possible for better mileage, parking ease and lower rate. Automatic transmissions also simplify driving abroad.
Leave room for spontaneity in travel plans. Wander, get lost, chat with locals – embrace unexpected surprises and moments.
Splurge occasionally on excursions you’re passionate about, like a music festival or wine tasting. Make special memories. But budget carefully for trips overall.
Take lots of photos and videos to document your travels. Record the exciting places you explore while studying abroad to look back on fondly.
Keep family and friends updated on trips to feel connected from afar. Post highlights they’d enjoy on social media.
Travel internationally when bordering countries during long breaks. But focus regional trips on weekends to balance academics. Set firm study/travel boundaries.
Take calculated risks within reason, but avoid dangerous risks alone or at night. Use sound judgment and consult locals for safety tips.
Embrace mistakes like taking the wrong train or getting soaked in rain as part of the journey. Laugh them off, then write the stories later. Each mishap builds resourcefulness.
Savor every second discovering new-to-you places, cultures and people while studying abroad. Let curiosity chart your travel adventures, making each weekend trip distinctly meaningful.
Stay in Touch with Friends and Family While Studying Abroad at UMass Dartmouth
Studying abroad is an amazing adventure, but you’ll likely feel homesick at times being far from family and friends. Luckily, technology makes it easy to stay connected across the miles during your semester overseas at UMass Dartmouth. Here are tips to nurture key relationships from afar.
First, assess available communication options abroad. Ask past students about cell service, public WiFi and computer access at your program site. This allows you to pick the best apps and platforms for calling, texting, emailing, posting and video chatting.
For affordable mobile service while traveling, consider purchasing an international SIM card or temporary local phone. Adding international coverage to your existing plan also works, but can get pricey.
Download useful communication apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype before departing. These let you message, call and video chat internationally for low rates or free over WiFi.
Email family and friends before leaving with your contacts abroad like new phone number, social media, email, and program address. Ask them to keep yours handy too.
Share your semester schedule, calendar and travel plans with key people back home. This allows them to know your availability and time zone differences to schedule catch-up chats.
Use time zone conversion charts to calculate when to best call, text or email based on time differences. Adapt your communication rhythms to align with theirs.
Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to frequently share photos, stories and updates with your wider circles. Keep them in the loop on your awesome adventures.
Send postcards to family and friends from your travels so they feel like they’re along for the journey. Mail keepsakes make lasting memorabilia too.
Keep communication consistent by scheduling weekly video calls with immediate family to recap highlights. Brief daily check-ins by text keep you connected.
Write thoughtful emails or create photo albums to share with mentors, professors and work contacts. Nurture these key professional relationships despite the distance.
Schedule video calls around important events back home to still feel part of celebrations, holidays and big moments from afar.
Nurture old friendships by sharing memories and inside jokes. Plan virtual movie nights or game nights to recreate old traditions.
Bond more deeply with family and friends by discussing cultural adjustments candidly. Seek their advice and humor when feeling homesick.
Gift close friends and family members local treats or small souvenirs when reconnecting at home to thank them for their long-distance support.
Keep important dates and occasions on your calendar. Mail cards and small gifts to show you are thinking of them on birthdays, holidays and graduations.
Watch for data limits, international fees and roaming charges using mobile and data while abroad to avoid bill shocks.
Back up digital photos frequently to the cloud or external drives as mementos to share later during visits home.
Set expectations with friends and family that demanding academics and travel may sometimes limit communication. Assure them you’re ok.
Embrace your support network from back home as a comforting constant during exciting whirlwind study abroad days and adventures ahead.
Take Lots of Photos and Videos While Studying Abroad at UMass Dartmouth
Studying abroad is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the best ways to cherish and remember all the incredible moments is by documenting your semester overseas through tons of photos and videos.
First, invest in quality camera gear suited for travel before departing. A DSLR camera with extra batteries and memory cards allows you to shoot high resolution photos and videos. A smartphone or point-and-shoot camera also worksgreat.
Additionally, pack portable camera accessories like selfie sticks, mini tripods, remote shutter releases and extra chargers. These allow you to capture photos from unique angles and easily shoot timed self-portraits while solo.
Learn your camera settings and modes beforehand so you can properly adjust on the fly for night scenes, action shots, landscapes, portraits and more. Understand basics like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc.
Back up photos and videos frequently to cloud services, external hard drives, or flash drives to keep files safe if cameras get lost, stolen or damaged. Creating backups is a crucial habit.
Take candid, spur-of-the-moment photos in addition to posed shots to document authentic cultural moments and everyday life. Capture genuine emotions and interactions.
Snap lots of pictures with new international friends and classmates to memorialize bonds formed. Trade contact info to share photos with each other later.
Take photos looking out train/bus windows en route to capture fleeting scenery. Transport rides showcase beautiful countryside and landscapes.
Shoot frequent photos while touring top sites and museums to remember details. Avoid repeating locations later just for photos.
Ask strangers to take photos of you in front of monuments when traveling solo. Offer to return the favor for other tourists too.
Wake up early for sunrises and stay out late for sunsets in photogenic locations. Golden hour light creates stunning images.
Record video clips at festivals, markets and events to document local culture and ambiance. Brief 10-30 second snippets easily convey moments.
Take detailed close-up shots of signs, food dishes, art, markers, etc to chronicle intricacies. Zoom in on elements that catch your eye.
Capture humorous mishaps and awkward incidents to look back on fondly. Laughing at yourself later makes great stories.
Print your best photos abroad to hang in your room or compile into albums as artistic mementos for family and friends back home.
Jot down great captions immediately after taking poignant or exciting shots to remember key details and emotions felt in the moment.
Utilize social media to share highlight reels of photos and short videos during your semester abroad for others to enjoy virtually.
Invest in waterproof bags and cases to protect cameras from rain, sand, surf and snow based on destinations. Elements can damage gear.
Take some photos dressed up or doing poses just for fun. Selfies with statues or photos “flying” add whimsical memories.
Edit and enhance top photos during travel downtime. Apps like Lightroom Mobile offer handy editing tools.
Upon returning home, organize the best images into albums or create photobooks to commemorate your experiences. Add captions to jog cherished memories.
Cherish photos and videos as invaluable visual time capsules to reminisce over fondly for years to come. They offer lasting glimpses into your amazing study abroad days.
Keep a Journal of Your Experience When Studying Abroad at UMass Dartmouth
Studying abroad is filled with so many new sights, sounds, tastes, sensations, and emotions. Keeping a personal journal is an excellent way to document your experiences, reflections, and memories during your semester overseas at UMass Dartmouth.
Pack a special notebook or journal you love to use as your study abroad diary. Select one with high quality thick pages that won’t bleed. A leather or embroidered cover makes it feel more precious.
Set a goal to write journal entries several times per week. Many students find writing before bed helps process the day. But write whenever inspiration strikes.
Let your journal be a space to poured out emotions – excitement, frustrations, appreciations, revelations, rants. Write freely without judging your feelings.
Use vivid sensory details as you describe new sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings encountered abroad. Transport yourself back by reading later.
Paste photos, ticket stubs, receipts, and other small mementos into your journal to enhance entries. These add a tactile element.
Sketch little drawings or doodles showcasing fun moments, new friends, favorite foods and memorable places. Doodles personalize entries.
Write extensive details about excursions, museums, shows, and destinations to help you vividly remember places visited.
Jot down fascinating things locals say to capture witty banter, insightful dialogues, and cultural wisdoms to remember.
Document small moments of cultural appreciation, breakthroughs adjusting, homesickness, and personal growth. The little moments paint the big picture.
Make notes about recipes, foods and wines you try abroad so you can find them again in the future. Jot favorite ingredient combinations.
Write thank you notes to new friends and host families to look back on meaningful connections formed.
Describe funny mishaps, faux pas, miscommunications and awkward moments to laugh about later.
Record at least one positive experience and expression of gratitude in each entry to keep perspective.
Make journaling the time you decompress, download your thoughts, and reflect on experiences after busy days.
Note daily expenses to help stay on budget and track spending. Jot financial tips learned.
Write about inspirational locals you meet like shop owners, artists, and community leaders. Chronicle their wisdom.
Describe thought-provoking classroom discussions, field trips and guest lectures that broadened your worldview.
Looking back on past entries allows you to see your growth process, which encourages further self-discovery.
Keep writing in your journal even when you return home to process reverse culture shock and rediscovering home.
After studying abroad, rereading your journal provides a vivid, emotional, bright recollection of every experience, relationship, taste discovered and lesson learned. It captures your one-of-a-kind journey in your own words.
Make Life-Long Friends with Locals and Fellow Students
Hey there future study abroad students! Have you been dreaming about escaping your normal college routine and experiencing life in a brand new place? Well, look no further because studying abroad at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is the adventure you’ve been waiting for! As an out-of-state student originally from Iowa, I know first-hand how transformative studying abroad can be. Choosing to spend my junior year at UMass Dartmouth was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, allowing me to step outside my comfort zone while making lifelong connections and memories. If you’re ready for a one-of-a-kind college experience, studying abroad at UMass Dartmouth is for you!
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the chance to meet completely new people. When you immerse yourself in a foreign place, you never know who you’ll befriend along the way. During my semester at UMass Dartmouth, I became close with classmates from France, Brazil and even Australia. We bonded over being foreigners together and spent weekends traveling around the beautiful New England area. I also got to know local students, teaching me so much about Massachusetts culture and giving me a home away from home. Without studying abroad, I never would have made such fast friends with people from around the world!
In addition to new friendships, studying abroad at UMass Dartmouth allows you to completely shake up your regular routine. Instead of taking classes with the same professors and sitting in the same lecture halls as always, you’ll get to explore a lively college campus from a different perspective. The university has an extensive catalog of interesting courses and hands-on learning opportunities that mix up the typical college experience. I enjoyed classes on New England literature, coastal ecology and even an introduction to Portuguese language – things I never would have tried back home. Stepping out of your comfort zone academically keeps things exciting and allows for personalized learning.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth also provides unique housing arrangements that make studying abroad more immersive. Rather than isolating yourself in a generic dorm, you can live side-by-side with domestic students. I chose to live in a townhouse with three girls from Massachusetts, which helped me quickly learn about the local lifestyle. We enjoyed Boston day trips together, explored the culinary scene, and swapped stories about our very different upbringings. Living with real Dartmouth students created an instant support system and gave me lifelong friendships I wouldn’t trade for anything.
In addition to making local friends, studying abroad at UMass Dartmouth allows you to connect with fellow visiting students. Since we were all far from home together, my international classmates and I formed an invincible bond. We constantly explored the region together, tried new foods, and motivated each other during challenging times so far away from family. I know I can visit or crash on their couches anywhere in the world years from now – that’s how tight-knit our group became! You’ll also get to meet peers from your home university, allowing you to make new friends and find familiar faces abroad.
Beyond just making friends, studying abroad at UMass Dartmouth completely transforms your worldview. When you immerse yourself in a foreign place, you start to notice subtle cultural differences and gain brand new perspectives. During my time in New England, I learned so much about the European influence on the region, saw a new appreciation for seafood, and even picked up on some Portuguese slang from my classmates! The little things you learn open your eyes wider to the world around us. I returned home with a greater understanding of different cultures, viewpoints and ways of life. You’ll be shocked at how much studying abroad teaches you about yourself and the world.
If you choose to study at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, get excited to take college life to the next level. You’ll move beyond stale routines, shake up your friend group, and open your mind to so many new experiences. Looking back, I can easily say it was the most fun and transformational semester of my college career. When else can you pick up and travel to a new corner of the world, just for a few months of self-discovery? Seize this once-in-a-lifetime chance – you won’t regret making UMass Dartmouth your home away from home!
After Returning, Stay Connected with Your New Network
As an out-of-state student who spent a life-changing semester abroad at UMass Dartmouth, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of staying connected with your new network after returning home. The friends, classmates, professors and local buddies you make while studying overseas shape your experience in monumental ways. Make sure to nurture those relationships so your study abroad community lasts far beyond just one semester.
Thanks to social media and technology, it has never been easier to stay in touch with people across the globe. I made sure to connect with all my new international friends on apps like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram before departing Dartmouth. This allowed us to keep up with each other’s lives, comment on photos, and send quick messages updating the group on our latest adventures. Even if we’re now scattered around the world, it feels like we’re still together when we interact online. Video chatting apps are another great way to keep your study abroad friendships strong.
In addition to digital communication, make an effort to physically visit those you connected with during your time abroad. I try to meet up with my former classmates whenever I’m traveling to their home countries. It’s so fun to explore a new place together and reminisce about our crazy adventures at UMass Dartmouth. I’ve also had a couple friends come stay with me in the Midwest for a weekend getaway. Keeping your study abroad network alive through in-person meetups shows you truly care.
I also recommend reaching out to any local friends you made while studying at the university. After spending a semester immersed in Massachusetts culture, I felt a strong bond with my new regional network. I keep up with my former Dartmouth roommates by mailing each other care packages of local goods – I send them Iowa snacks while they mail me New England staples. We also try to reunite and visit various cities together when possible. Nurturing these hometown connections preserves the special student experience you shared.
Don’t neglect to continue communicating with UMass Dartmouth faculty and staff either. I’ve emailed professors to update them on my career progress and ask their advice. It’s also nice to send the study abroad office occasional photos and stories from your time in New England. Giving them feedback helps improve the experience for future visiting students. I even visit campus whenever I’m in the area, dropping by my old departments to say hello. Maintaining these Dartmouth connections has been hugely rewarding.
Studying abroad is often a defining experience in college students’ lives, so be sure to actively nurture the relationships and network you built during your semester overseas. Use social media, video chat apps and in-person meetups to preserve your international friend circle. Keep hometown connections alive by sharing local goods and visiting. Don’t forget to update former faculty too. Staying engaged with your Dartmouth network ensures you’ll maximize the personal growth and adventures begun abroad. Your new lifelong friends and memories will motivate and inspire you for years to come.
Leverage Your Experience Abroad on Your Resume
Studying abroad can be one of the most enriching and perspective-broadening experiences of your college career. Immersing yourself in another culture, navigating daily life in a foreign language, and pushing beyond your comfort zone often leads to tremendous personal growth. This kind of experience is highly valued by employers, so be sure to highlight your study abroad semester prominently on your resume.
As a student at UMass Dartmouth considering studying abroad next semester, you have a unique opportunity to gain experiences and skills that will set you apart after graduation. When crafting your resume, think about how your time overseas helped you develop in terms of independence, flexibility, communication skills, cultural awareness, problem-solving, and more. Employers want to hire graduates who can thrive in our increasingly globalized world, so study abroad is a clear asset.
Here are some tips for leveraging your experience abroad on your resume:
Highlight Relevant Coursework
List any courses you completed overseas, especially those relevant to your major or career goals. Include the name of the international university. This shows how you sought out educational experiences beyond what was offered on your home campus.
Emphasize Cross-Cultural Skills
Living and studying in another country inherently builds cross-cultural competence. On your resume, emphasize how this experience helped you communicate across cultures, appreciate different perspectives, and adapt to unfamiliar settings. Use concrete examples if possible.
Tailor to the Job Description
Carefully review each job description and tweak your resume to highlight relevant skills gained from studying abroad. Did you learn a second language applicable to the role? Lead a group project with international peers? Demonstrate resilience and independence by navigating a new city? Adjust your resume for each application.
Use numbers, percentages, or metrics whenever possible. For example, “Completed 5 courses earning a 3.9 GPA while studying abroad at University of Barcelona.” This quantifies the scope of your experience and academic success.
Include Scholarships or Awards
Did you receive a merit-based scholarship or Dean’s List honors for your academics abroad? Were you recognized for a major project or extracurricular activity? Listing relevant awards provides external validation of your achievements overseas.
Focus on Transferable Skills
Think broadly about the skills you developed while abroad that translate to the workplace. These could include problem-solving, independence, adaptability, project planning, intercultural communication, budgeting/finance, and more. Help employers understand how these assets would bring value.
Spotlight Significant Projects
Working on an extensive research project or group case study while abroad shows important skills like critical thinking, analysis, and collaboration. Provide brief summaries of major projects on your resume, emphasizing outcomes and transferable skills gained.
Summarize in Your Profile
Briefly highlight your study abroad experience in your resume profile/summary section. For example: “Third-year International Business student with a semester of study abroad experience at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, including coursework in Spanish and European business practices.”
Leveraging your study abroad experience effectively on paper is crucial to standing out in the job market after graduation. With some careful reflection on the skills and attributes you developed overseas, you can craft a compelling resume that conveys your global mindset and readiness to thrive in today’s multicultural business environment. Emphasize the ways in which your time abroad makes you a more mature, independent, and culturally aware candidate.
As you consider potential study abroad opportunities at UMass Dartmouth, keep in mind how this experience can strengthen your future employability and alignment with your career aspirations. With strategic resume branding that spotlights your semester overseas, you can set yourself apart from other applicants and demonstrate the unique value you bring as a global citizen.