After applying for your Greenheart Travel program, there can be a lot of anticipated time before going abroad. This is an opportunity for you to begin thinking of exciting new ways to become familiar with the country you’re visiting. Preparing for your time abroad will better your stay within your host country. Here is a simple guide on ways to prepare for your travel adventure!
1. Watch some movies
This is an opportunity for you to sit back relax and watch some foreign films! Simply watching a film in a different language (ex: French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) with English subtitles will allow you to gain knowledge about your country’s culture and language. It is important to get familiar with common words and phrases in the language you are visiting since you will be spending a significant amount of time speaking with your host family and others in that country.
2. Purchase a travel guide based on your host country!
Purchasing a small travel guide based on your host country will help you gain more knowledge about that country. Not only will it give you ideas for great places to visit, but it will also give you a great sense of the culture and what they do on a day-to-day basis. There are also many books based on different countries that discuss the values and proper etiquette when abroad.
3. Change your mobile device and computer to your host language
Changing the language setting on your phone and computer is another way to gain better knowledge of your host language. Again, learning common languages and phrases is important to focus on before going abroad to a country that barely speaks English.
4. Try new foods and prepare for different meal times
Every country holds a different cuisine. Therefore, it is important for you to take notice on what the common meals are within that country and what time they are usually held. Countries like Spain for example, have dinner later in the evening around nine o’clock at night. It is important for you to take notice of these differences so your body can adapt to the changes more easily.
5. Talk with your host family
Develop a relationship with your host family before you venture abroad. Getting to know the people you will be living with in advance will allow the process of going abroad to be more comfortable and exciting! They will also be helpful with any questions you have pertaining the trip!
6. Buy host family gifts
Start brainstorming gifts to give to your host family. It is important to give a small gift from your hometown to the host family either when you arrive or before you leave. It shows them your appreciation for helping you experience a new culture!
7. Start learning a different language
Develop language skills before entering into your host country. It’s important to learn the language in order to communicate with people in the country who may be your classmates or new people you have just met. You can learn the language by applying to Rosetta Stone or different books and online opportunities to help you learn the language. You can also participate in a language school program through Greenheart Travel in the country you will be traveling to give you a head start in adjusting to living abroad.
8. Start Packing
Beginning to pack will get you enthused to go abroad! Preparing for different weather scenarios while light packing will help you experience your time abroad to the fullest. Remember to pack light!
9. Talk with others who have gone abroad
Get some insight from others who have gone abroad. If you know someone who has gone abroad to your country or even another country, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Those who have gone abroad want to share their experience with you and answer all the questions you have. If you don’t know anyone who has been abroad yet, ask your Greenheart Travel Program Manager to connect you with past and current participants or invite you to our Facebook groups specific to each program.
10. Know your exchange rate
Not all money is the same! Getting to know your exchange rate will help you in the long run! You will be able to manage your money more carefully.
Most importantly have FUN!!