Arianne's top tips for studying abroad

09 January 2023

BSc International Management student Arianne shares her insider advice on how to make the most of your time abroad where she spent the year studying at IE Business School.

I went to IE Business School in Madrid for my year abroad, and it was the best year of my life because it was a positively challenging and beautiful experience. I grew the most as a person that year; I shifted my mindset, got to know myself better, met people on the same “wavelength” as me, improved my Spanish and was exposed to Industry 4.0 (an industry that I see myself going into after graduating). Here is some advice that I wish someone had shared with me before I set off for my year in Madrid!  

Enjoy yourself

Something that I realised late into term 1 of my year of studying abroad was that I shouldn’t stress myself over my studies. Yes, the studying part is significantly essential, but my grades did not count towards my degree. This didn’t mean I slacked off, it just meant that I balanced my time a lot more to incorporate things outside of studying. Therefore, my advice would be to make sure you find the balance between work and life; give yourself the time to explore and enjoy the country you are in.  Take that train, go to that festival, try that restaurant. Do something you wouldn’t “normally” do. Do something different at least once a week that’s outside your routine. I found myself painting in the park and going on day trips to neighbouring cities, and I only regret not doing it sooner!

Be independent

Secondly, be comfortable with doing things on your own as soon as you can. Not only is this empowering, but it saves you from having to wait on anyone else. If you want to do something because you enjoy it, then don’t wait on someone else to confirm to make that decision for YOU! You’ll be saving yourself so much time whilst getting to know yourself better. There is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Make the most of the experience

Thirdly, be present. I know this is a huge “buzz word”, and people are throwing it around, but it’s because it's so important. Being present, enjoying the moment, and taking in the experience is crucial because trust me when I say it goes by in a blink of an eye.

Know that there is support available

Finally, make sure you are aware of the support around you. READ THE HANDBOOK. Read it once or twice to familiarise yourself with what and who is there to support you. You have support and resources from 2 institutions. Make sure to utilise this!

Ever since I’ve come back to WBS, I’ve been so used to telling people that the year abroad was the best time of my life because it was. For 2nd-year BSc International Management students who are contemplating the thought of taking a year abroad, I encourage them! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you get to meet new people, immerse yourself in a new culture and environment, and get to know yourself better at the same time. I got to explore corners of the world that I would never have imagined visiting. Plus, 3 years at Uni goes by so fast, why not extend it to 4?

Find out about Arianne's year abroad experience in Madrid and her top tips for applying for your year abroad.

Every WBS Undergraduate* has the opportunity to study abroad during their studies, if you would like to find out more about our courses on offer, download our Undergraduate brochure.

*Joint degree’s may differ, please refer to the partner department for study abroad information

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