Still doubting if you should take that shot and go live there? I am here to make sure you will take that shot. Because I know for a fact that living abroad might be one of the most awesome experiences in your life.
As a 20-year-old girl, making the decision of studying abroad alone, was not easy at all!
But I still did it, and you know what really helped me? I had an acquaintance who studied at the exact same university in Sevilla one year before me. Just talking to her and asking her all my questions, convinced me to go!
Now I am there for you, to be your friend and answer all the questions you have. Or rather, convincing you to go 😉 If you have any questions or doubts… let me know in a comment below and I will try to help you with your decision.
What to expect in this article:
1. Learn language
First of all: if you want to learn a new language, living in that country and having to speak the language, makes it so much easier to learn it! I have to admit that in Sevilla I was mostly surrounded by Dutch people, weird as that may sound, I did not learn as much Spanish as I wanted in the 4 months of my stay.
But in the months after that at home, I kept learning Spanish (on Duolingo) which gave me a good basis for when I started to live in Barcelona. Now I am living with a Spanish lady who can´t speak English and I can have conversations in Spanish with her, also because I recently took Spanish classes again.
So if you are surrounded by people who cannot speak English, take language classes and give yourself time, you will get there. Now I think about it, I have to finish my Spanish class for today.
2. Travel (of course)
The reason I love living abroad so much: Traveling! If you live in a place abroad for a couple of months/years, you will visit places you wouldn´t have, if you would have gone just on a vacation there. I have been to numerous places in Andalucía; too many to count. I am also on my way to visit a lot of places in Catalunya.
Of course, you will be the expert on the place you live in. How fun is it when the family will visit you and you know the ins and outs of that place? You can guide them around your (hopefully ) favorite place!
Also, when you live close to another country at that moment, it´s much easier to visit that! I went to Gibraltar, Portugal, and Morocco, because all 3 of them are quite close to Sevilla. Now I am living in Barcelona, France is really close by, yet so far away due to Corona. I hope I will be able to explore places in France soon as well.
3. New New New
It´s a nice fresh start when you start living somewhere else! Everything will be new, which might be challenging of course, but it can also be a fresh start. You can buy a new bicycle, make new friends, discover new values (which might be important to that country).
I love to meet new people. Also from other countries. It shapes you, you will learn so many new things and… you always have a place to stay in the other country hahaha.
I also believe that everything you learn, all the values of the new country/people, you will take with you. It will shape you. Maybe you will lose some of your old habits and create new ones. I for one, am a much more open-minded person than I used to be before I moved abroad.
Besides that, the friends you make at that place will be so meaningful. They experience exactly the same as you do and you can always share your awesome memories with them. I still call once a month with a friend from Taiwan, whom I met in Sevilla.
You might start to realize it, that it is not that bad at home. Or the other way around, how nice it is in this new country.
I used to live at home the first time I moved abroad and I started to realize how lucky I am with that. There´s always family around and my mom cooked every day 😉
Not just that, but I also started to become grateful for the tiniest things: a good working shower (the one in Sevilla did not work half of the time), being able to understand random conversations on the street, and understanding all the traditions/habits of the country.
I also started to be more grateful about the ´bigger´ things. At home I was independent, I had a car and a free public transport ticket. I know (almost) everything in the Netherlands, I know who to ask what, I know the language… In another country that could be really hard. But that can make you more determined to have the same things in your new country.
Also, I am grateful for the way the Netherlands is structured, the laws, the insurances, the salary… Before I moved out, I always found the Netherlands very boring and did not know why I would want to live there in the future. Now I have lived in Spain, I know better 😉
But it can also be the other way of course! Maybe your home country is not that great and you will feel grateful for anything in the new country. This all depends on the situation of course. I am super grateful that people live mostly outside here in Spain. I love that I can reserve a table at 10.30 PM in a restaurant and no one thinks this is weird.
It´s good to realize this and it mostly only happens once you lived abroad, so that could be a reason why you should live abroad once in your life.
5. Living in the moment
You will start to realize that living in the moment is very important. You are only … months/years in this country, so you have to make the best of it!
When I was living in Sevilla for only 4 months, I traveled with my friends every single weekend. I mean évery single weekend, besides the last few weekends, when we had to focus on our exams. Then reality hit us 😉
A year later, when I was living in Sevilla again… this was not possible, unfortunately, because I had to work often on weekends. So it made me even happier that I traveled the year before that too many many places.
Living abroad means learning. You will learn so many things about yourself when you live abroad! You will have to handle situations differently from back home and then you will realize whether you like it or not and how you treat those situations.
Besides that, you will learn many things about the country/city you are in and the people who live there.
You will also learn to broaden your comfort zone. In so many ways! I had to broaden my comfort zone in the way of meeting people. I am naturally a very shy person, but in Sevilla, I hád to meet people. Because let´s be real, if you don´t have a network or know anyone, it can be very difficult to live somewhere else. On the first day in Sevilla, my roommate had to tell me which stores were open and closed. This is just an easy example, but it can be for more important situations.
That´s it. So are you going to live abroad in the future? Do you have any plans or visions for in the future? Please tell me in a comment! I will read those after I finished my Spanish class of today.
Want to read more? Awesome! 🙂
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