How to make the most out of your international exchange

AIESEC in India
1st June, 2023
6 min read

You’ve finally taken that decision to go on that international exchange through AIESEC- everything that you’ll need to know has been driven down to you perfectly, you can only imagine how ecstatic the next couple of months are going to be but there are a couple of questions on the top of your head that have been nagging you for awhile-

“How will I make the most of my international exchange? What should I do to have the best experience? Should I be aware of anything that might affect my experience?”

Let's start off with the most obvious thing, prepare yourself for a culture shock- living in a completely new environment, one that you’ve never experienced before is going to be a little tough- the food, the people, the interactions and the behavior will take a couple of days to get accustomed to so go all in with an open welcoming perspective.

It is essential to be open-minded and willing to learn about the customs, traditions, and values of your host country. By doing so, you will be able to appreciate and respect their culture better, making your exchange experience all the more enjoyable.

Secondly the way to someone's heart and mind will always be food and conversations. Make an effort to learn all the basics of the native language before you fly- this will not only help make communication easier for you but will also show your willingness to connect with the people around you

Next, Make sure you participate in local activities! It is the best way for you to immerse yourself in the local culture. Show up to local festivals, concerts, and events- It'll broaden your understanding of the host country and its people. Whilst doing so, ensure you network and make connections, meet people from different backgrounds, including students, professors, and professionals.

Building a network will not only provide you with new opportunities but may also lead to a future career opportunity.

Finally, document your experience and travel- explore the country, try new cuisines and landmarks. Keep a journal, take photos, and share your experience with family and friends back home. This will help you remember your experience and will also inspire others to pursue international exchange opportunities.

All in all being open-minded, curious, and proactive can make the most out of your exchange program. Embrace cultural differences, learn the language, participate actively in local activities and taking advantage of all the learnings

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