How To Make the Most of Your Weekends When Studying Abroad in Europe

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Studying abroad in Europeinfo-icon? Well, you're in for an adventure. From learning about the culture, history, and languages to enjoying the sights, sounds, and foods, studying abroad is a roller-coaster ride you're never quite prepared to tackle. 

Let's face it: Weekends can be daunting when you're living in a new city. How do you balance that pile of textbooks and assignments with the excitement of exploring a whole new continent? The answer lies in smart planning and organization. Let’s dive in.

Travel Light and Store Your Luggage as You Go

Imagine waking up in Paris, the City of Love. It's Saturday, you’ve just hopped off the Eurail with your handy travel pass, and you have the whole day ahead of you. 

There’s just one catch: You have to lug around that cumbersome backpack all day. Luckily, if you plan ahead, you can find places to leave your luggage on your journeys to explore unencumbered by the stress of heavy bags or forgetting things you need. You can even opt for Louvre luggage storage to safely store your bags on your way to see some world-class art. 

That's a trick we learned early on, and it applies to virtually any major tourist spot in Europe.

Discover the Hidden Corners of Your Host City

While visiting the iconic landmarks and traveling outside your host city is essential, don't miss out on exploring the lesser-known parts of your home base. 

Get lost in the labyrinthine alleyways of Trastevere in Rome, discover the vibrant graffiti art scene in Berlin’s Kreuzberg, or enjoy a quiet afternoon in the hidden gardens of Paris. It's these unique experiences that can truly make your stay abroad special. 

Don’t Always Stick Too Close to Home

Thanks to the well-connected rail system and numerous budget airlines, traveling from one country to another is as easy as a piece of apple strudel in Vienna. Still, planning is crucial.

Last-minute trips can be exciting, but they're often pricier. Make sure you book your tickets in advance and keep an eye on the deals and discounts often offered by various travel companies.

A word of caution, though: Don't try to cram too much into one weekend. It might be tempting to hit three cities in three days but trust us. Spending a couple of days immersing yourself in one place is far more rewarding. You'll have a more relaxed experience and get a real taste of the local culture rather than just collecting passport stamps.

Each place you visit adds to your understanding of the world, a colorful piece in the grand puzzle of your study abroad experience. So, grab that map, put on your wanderlust hat, and get ready to venture beyond borders.

Get Involved in Local Events and Festivals

Say it's the season of Oktoberfest in Munich, and the city is buzzing with people clad in traditional Bavarian attire, the beer is flowing, and the aroma of pretzels fills the air. Imagine being a part of that — sounds fun, doesn't it? 

Or perhaps it's La Tomatina in Spaininfo-icon, and you've just joined in on the world's biggest food fight. Not every weekend will be this grand, of course, but even attending a local farmer’s market or a music gig can be an enriching experience. 

Participating in these local events not only gives you a break from your study routine but it also lets you delve deeper into the traditions, customs, and ways of life of your host country in an authentic way you can’t get if you’re just passing through.

Make Real Connections With People, Not Just Places

Being in a new country gives you the perfect opportunity to connect and network with a whole new pool of people that’s probably much more diverse than your network at home. Attending social events, language exchanges, or even casual meetups can help you make lifelong friends and valuable contacts, enriching your understanding of diverse cultures. 

Try to interact with locals as much as possible. Their insights and experiences can provide a perspective that no guidebook can. Also, don't forget your fellow international students. They are going through the same journey as you, and sharing experiences can lead to meaningful connections. 

In a nutshell, use your weekends to connect with people around you! After all, studying abroad is not just about visiting new places, it's also about meeting new people and creating shared memories. Plus, if you fall madly in love with the city you’re studying in, it won’t hurt to have some friends to help you find a job after you finish.

Study Up!

Whether strolling through the streets of your host city, catching a train to a neighboring country, immersing yourself in a local festival, or making friends from around the globe, the experiences you gain will shape your worldview and leave you with memories to cherish forever. 

So, lace up those explorer boots and prepare to make the most of your weekends when studying abroad in Europe.

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