The top 10 things to pack (in your brain) for global educational experiences

Traveling abroad is an experience similar to none. Often, you will remember it as one of the best experiences in your lifetime. However, other countries and their cultures are very different from that of the United States’. With that being said, I thought that a few preparation tips from someone who has been abroad several times could be helpful. Enjoy!

10 things to pack

  1. Aglobal mindset: In this educational experience, you will have the opportunity to learn, grow and give back. If you get yourself ready to have an adventure, you will find one.
  2. Curiosity: Be open to learning and experiencing new and different things…isn’t that one of the main reasons for going?
  3. Flexibility: Remember, not everything goes as planned when traveling and not everything can be planned for, so be open to changes. If you are resilient and adaptable, you experience will be more enjoyable.
  4. “Good vibes”: A positive attitude will get you everywhere in life and that includes everywhere you travel around the world.
  5. “This too shall pass” attitude: Sure, things may not go exactly as planned on your trip, they might be not exactly what you expected, at times they could even be disappointing, but know that all these experiences and feelings will pass and eventually good things will come out of the experience.
  6. Wellness focus: To thoroughly enjoy your global experience you need to stay healthy. So, when it comes down to the basics (getting enough rest, staying hydrated, coming prepared with any medications or supplies you may need and paying attention to common-sense advice such as when you can drink the water or eat certain foods) following wise council from your faculty will go far in staying healthy and enjoying your experience.
  7. “Be prepared” motto: Often times you are asked to bring some supplies or equipment with you such as rain gear, good walking shoes, insect repellent, toilet paper and other assorted items. Whatever it is you’re asked to bring, you’re being asked to bring it for a reason, so be prepared to use it and don’t forget to bring it. Remember, around the world everyone doesn’t change their clothes several times a day or wash their clothing after one use. Learn to re-wear your clothes several times.
  8. Cultural competence: You have heard these words in the classroom and discussed them, but now it’s time to put them into action. Your ability to effectively interact with people of different cultures, integrating respect and responsiveness, will take you far in this experience and those that follow.
  9. Humility: It’s important you enter this experience with this mantra - “I am here to learn, I don’t know everything” and be ready and willing to say “I hope you can help me to understand” or “Can you tell me or show me.” A little humility goes a long way in ensuring a positive experience (repeat this mantra several times before leaving on your trip).
  10. “Always a Buckeye” spirit: In all you do, foster and respect the rich diversity that makes Ohio State great and makes us proud as you travel the world #osuglobaltransformation.

Want to share your own advice or experiences with us? Comment below or post on social using #osuglobaltransformation.

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