Strasbourg Study Abroad Program
I Wish I Had Known...
- Pack for any kind of weather. It can be cold or warm, wet or dry, and there is little climate control in Europe.
- Pack as light as you possibly can.
- Read a travel book, such as a Rick Steves travel guide. It's a good idea to contact other students so you each may bring a different book. That creates a mini library and you have the benefit of reading different accounts as well as reading about different cities. Of course, e-books are light to pack!
- Read an European-themed book/play. For example, Room with a View, A Year in Provence, Moon over Paris, Cyrano de Bergerac, or any Hemmingway set in Europe. The choices are limitless.
- Take screenshots of maps with your mobile device to avoid looking like a tourist with a big map.
- Plan some of your trips in advance, but also allow yourself to be spontaneous.
- Take earplugs for studying at the Foyer if you are easily distracted; sound can travel well there.
- Be nice and appreciative to the Foyer staff. They will return the kindness.
- Enjoy the food. We ate more there than ever but still most of us lost weight. You walk so much and the food is fresh and healthy. Do try new things too; usually you'll be pleasantly surprised.
- Take the initiative to get to know people you did not spend time with in school prior to the trip.
- Take tons of pictures. You'll be glad you did. Bring an extra memory card.
- Respect the differences between French and American culture. The French are much quieter than Americans, so keep conversations down when in public areas, especially when in groups. Also, the French are a very polite people. It is imperative that you say "hello," "goodbye," "thank you," and "excuse me" at every opportunity (in French, of course). The French are warm and friendly if you are nice and respectful of their culture!
- Thank God for your adventure and realize how amazing this opportunity is for you. Before you know it, you will be back in the USA and it will be all over. But you will always have the memories.