Enjoy School? You Heard Right!

Okay, few people think of school and enjoyment in the same sentence. Even so, it’s true that your school years are some of the best. It may not feel like it now, but your school life is the time when you have the most freedom and possibility for fun. Once you get a job, you’ll realize that school wasn’t so bad. Not that there’s anything wrong with working. But, the strict hours will show you that school wasn’t as terrible as you thought. The good news is, there are a few ways to ensure you appreciate school while you’re there!

HARNESS YOUR DESIRE TO LEARN

Learning doesn’t feel like a privilege when you’re doing it every day. Plus, there’s the fact that you’re often learning subjects you didn’t choose. Even so, many adults have a desire for knowledge that they can’t achieve. Make the most of school by harnessing your learning desire from a young age. There are always going to be subjects you enjoy less. Even so, try to see the interesting side of what you’re taught. This information is relevant; else you wouldn’t be learning it! Develop an analytic mind, and absorb that information like a sponge. Learning isn’t half as painful when you want to do it!

A GOOD FRIENDSHIP GROUP

School is one of the only times where you can muck about with your mates for a large part of the day. Unless a teacher is strict, they’ll allow you to at least talk to friends about your work. And, there’s no reason you can’t have a laugh about that. Learning is fun remember! Once you’re in the workplace, though, you’re not so free to laugh and joke when you want to. There’s still laughter of course, just not so much of it. Make the most of your friendship freedom by developing a good friendship group. That’s not to say you need a huge amount of friends around you. Focus on finding two or three friends who you know can make you laugh. If you have trouble branching out, look into extracurricular activities. Joining a group is a fantastic way to meet people with similar interests.

LEAVE THE FUTURE WHERE IT IS

Short of reading your horoscopes on a site like Astrostyle, you have no way of knowing what the future holds. Stressing about it is going to ruin your school days. And remember, these are the most stress free days of your life! Instead of worrying about what awaits, focus on the here and now. That’s not to say you shouldn’t work towards the future, just that it’s not worth worrying about right now!

FIND A FUN WAY OF LEARNING

We’ve already spoken about developing a passion for learning. It can also help to find fun ways of learning. This will help you enjoy your time, and may also help you remember information better. Of course, in class you’re a bit stuck. But, go ahead and apply your own learning methods during homework and revision!

All Work and No Play? No Way!

Life, whatever your age, is something that takes a lot of time and effort. It’s not until we are able to retire, or snatch a few days on a holiday, that we can truly sit back and think “hey, we’ve got this”. For those who are just getting to the end of their school career and are thinking about college, and even those who have done all of that and are trying to further their careers, there are things that can be done to both prepare you for and release you from the busyness of life.

Organize Your Schedule

Make sure that you know what you’re doing on a daily basis, and try to stay a couple of days ahead of yourself. That way you won’t burden yourself with taking on too much. Know your limits and try to understand what too much can be to you – whether this is an after-school club or volunteer work for example, if it is tiring you out too much to work effectively at anything else then you need to realise that this is something that needs cutting out. This is something that takes time and experience to master, so don’t expect that you’ll know exactly what you need and don’t need in your life – just go with the flow and see what works best for you.

Organize Your Food

You can’t get by on a busy lifestyle without the right sort of nutrition. If you aren’t feeding your body the foods it requires to give out a great performance, then you will see yourself lagging in several areas – whether this is not being fit enough to do your daily walk to school or losing concentration on whatever project you’re working on, your body needs a good nutritional diet, as explained on She Informed, to sustain a constant operating level. The best thing to do is compare yourself to a car and how much gas and maintenance it needs to keep itself going; it needs a lot more than just fuel and a service, it also needs water and oil and a whole host of other things to make sure it works to the best of its ability. Your body is completely the same.

Organize Your Fun

Don’t be so busy that you forget to take time out to have some fun. Make sure that you organise yourself enough that you have the time available to you to be able to go out and give yourself some freedom, but don’t feel like you have to hold back on doing anything other than work just because that’s what your schedule tells you. Follow the mottos of ‘work hard, play hard’ and ‘all work and no plays makes [insert name here] a dull person’ – they’re old but they really do hold a lot of powerful meaning. If you don’t de-stress once in a while, you won’t have the means and the focus to go on and keep doing as well as you’re doing … to achieve your potential.

Shine Like A Star At Your Prom By Treating It Like A Red Carpet Event

You’ve done it! School is almost over, and the world is your oyster. You may not know the results of your exams yet, but you can rest easy you’ve done everything you could to secure the grades you need. So, how can you celebrate? Prom is a good place to start. After your hard work, you deserve to enjoy a night of freedom and glamor. While you plan for your prom, it’s important to note that this is your chance to shine. Okay, it’s not a red carpet event, but it may as well be! That’s why you should treat yourself like a celeb. For this night, you can! To make the most of your night, it’s important you get to know all your options. That way, you can ensure everything is the way you want it!

THE RIGHT DRESS

When we think of prom, we think of the dresses. When else are you going to have a chance to wear a gown like the ones you can choose for prom? Make sure you look your best on the night by taking the time to consider a few different prom dresses. You may only wear it for one night, but this is one of the most important dresses you’ll buy! If you’re reluctant to spend the money, you could rent instead. That way, you can get the best dress for less cost! This could be an excellent way to get the dress you want. Or, you could take finishing your exams as an excuse to treat yourself. If anyone deserves a new dress, it’s you. If you’re struggling for inspiration, turn to the pros. Look at what the celebs are wearing. Look, too, at what’s on the catwalk. It may seem unlikely, but yellow is the hottest color of the season. One thing’s sure; a yellow dress will make you stand out!

THE ACCESSORIES + HAIR

To get the right look, think about more than your dress. Think, too, about your accessories and hair. After you’ve gone to the trouble of getting the perfect dress, it’s worth doing something new with your hair. Research some styles that will complement the dress you’ve chosen. If you have trouble mastering them, turn to online tutorials to teach you! Spare a thought to your accessories, too! Don’t let your dress go to waste by not accessorizing the way you should! Most importantly, you’ll need to choose the right shoes. Your shoes say a lot about you, so it’s important you get them right! You may want to go for heels, but don’t take the leap unless you feel confident! Remember that you’ll be dancing the night away. Don’t be afraid to choose flats instead! Think, too, about what handbag would look best. You don’t want anything too big, but you’ll need to carry your phone and keys! Take a look at clutch bags out there to see if any would suit. You don’t see anyone on the red carpet with a huge bag on their shoulder, do you?

THE TRAVEL

Once you’ve got your outfit ready, it’s time to think about how you’re going to get there. It doesn’t matter how good you look if you haven’t got a form of travel. This is your prom, so it fits you should arrive in style. You may not be driving to the Grammys, but treat it like you are! Look at fun ways other people have come at their proms. In keeping with the red carpet theme, consider hiring a limo. If you’re worried about the cost, take some friends along for the ride and split the cost between you. Or, you could go for something a little different. Why not hire an old style bus to take you all? Everyone will notice your arrival when traveling in one of these! Whatever option you choose, make sure there’s a touch of glamor to it! If you’re stuck for ideas, talk to your friends. They may have a plan you can get involved with.

THE PICTURES

Yes, you’re going to be enjoying yourself. Even so, it’s important to take pictures. This is an event you’ll want to remember, after all. In true red carpet style, there’s likely a photographer to take pictures as you arrive. Even so, you’ll want some pictures of your own! Put a camera in that clutch bag of yours, and make sure to remember it’s there! If you want to ensure the quality of your snaps, do a little research into how to take a good picture before you leave. You never know, you could develop a passion for it! Practice, too, taking pictures of yourself. It may sound strange, but you’re going to be taking selfies with your classmates. So, you want to ensure you get people in the frame! If it helps, invest in a selfie stick to get the shots you need. Bear in mind that it may be difficult to carry the stick around with you! You might be in a rush to get there on the night, but don’t forget the obligatory ‘before you leave’ pictures. Celebrity snaps won’t have anything on you! Remember, too, that this may be the last time you see a lot of your classmates. If people are leaving town after prom, make sure to get pictures with them. These are memories that you’ll come to cherish.

THE FUTURE….CAN WAIT

For the past few weeks, and maybe longer, your thoughts will have been consumed with picking a college. We all know what a stressful decision that can be. It may be easier said than done, but try to let the decision go on your prom night. Yes, the future is beckoning. Even so, it can wait one night. Take the chance to relax. Try to let go of all thoughts of the future. If you sit dwelling on your decisions all night, you’ll miss the prom. Not to mention that you’ll regret it. So go on, leave the future alone for the moment!

 

Health Anxiety 101: The Anxiety Disorder You’ve Never Heard Of

The vast majority of mental health conditions trigger before the age of 25. While some – such as schizophrenia – can manifest later in life, for most, they emerge towards the end of their teens.

This is problematic. It’s a time of life that is generally disruptive anyway, as teenagers try and figure out what they want from the world. Then they have to deal with the onset of what can often be a vicious mental health condition. This is, in no small part, why eating disorders are so prevalent among girls and young women.

You are likely familiar with the names of the most prevalent mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. However, there is a subset of the anxiety disorder category that is becoming more prevalent – Health Anxiety.

What Is Health Anxiety?

Health Anxiety is separate from the infamous hypochondria; when someone imagines themselves to be ill for attention. With Health Anxiety, the sufferer imagines themselves to be ill – but they don’t want attention. They don’t want to be ill; they’re terrified by the mere prospect. It is not malingering in the traditional sense; it’s a constant, all-consuming fear of illness, doctors, hospitals and medical tests.

Something as simple as a trip to the opticians is difficult for someone with Health Anxiety. They suffer fear that has physical manifestations, such as sweaty palms, shortness of breath and lightheadedness.

Those with Health Anxiety also tend to be consumed by a fear that they have a terrible illness. At this point, there are two subsets of the subset itself:

1) Reassurance Seekers. The reassurance seekers tend to visit their doctor often with a new perceived symptom, in desperate need of reassurance they are not suffering from a terrifying disease. They have more medical tests than normal. They will Google symptoms they experience in an attempt to alleviate the intrusive thoughts that they have no control over.

2) Avoiders. Avoiders are the exact opposite. They will not visit a medical professional if it can be avoided; they avoid anything on TV to do with medicine. This can often be to the detriment of their own health. They will, for example, miss routine eye tests for fear of what may come of them.

 

What Is Health Anxiety?

Health Anxiety is now being recognized as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is best characterized in a nutshell as:

“A person suffers intrusive thoughts they cannot control. They then take actions to alleviate the disturbing thoughts and calm anxious feelings.”

In the standard OCD, those actions are the recognizable symptoms such as hand-washing. For people with Health Anxiety, their actions are likely to be visiting a medical professional or researching symptoms of diseases.

Why Can’t Health Anxiety Sufferers Just Get Over It?

The nature of intrusive thoughts is that they are intrusive; they are not invited. Health Anxiety is caused by brain chemistry being awry, the same way all mental illnesses are. Someone with Health Anxiety can no more “get over it” than a person with a broken leg can just walk on it. The cause is physical – the term “mental illness” is something of a misnomer.

A typical cycle of Health Anxiety goes as follows:

1) The initial trigger, such as navel pain, kicks off this cycle.

2) They seek reassurance from a doctor or leave the problem long enough for it to resolve itself.

3) They satisfy the initial trigger with the above; the pain disperses (or has a benign cause such as IBS, which is rectified) and they resume normal activity.

4) They are then triggered with an entirely new symptom, and the cycle begins again.

The length of the cycle depends on the individual concerned; it may take days, or it may be weeks. The whole while, they are anxious, distressed and terrified. It’s not something they have any control over – no one would invite these things.

How Is It Treated?

Treatments for OCD have some efficacy against Health Anxiety, but many sufferers have to formulate an individual plan that works for them. Options include:

Medication

SSRI drugs commonly used to treat depression can help alleviate mild symptoms. Earlier generic tricyclics such as Clomipramine can be helpful in more severe cases.

Talking Therapies

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is most often utilized for Health Anxiety, with varying degrees of success.

What Do I Do If I Think I Have Health Anxiety?

Talk to a doctor and explain your symptoms. Diagnosis can be tricky; you may find a doctor saying you are just malingering. You have to be careful to explain the anxiety and upset your thoughts are causing you. And never be afraid to get a second opinion. Health Anxiety is becoming more commonly recognized, so don’t miss out on the chance for assistance.

 

Lose the Weight!

Concerned about weight gain, I started trying to exercise more. Walking became a favorite way to exercise. Yet, I wasn’t losing the pounds. So why was I still overweight? I was disappointed that exercise alone had not solved my problem.  

Then during my quiet time, I read Hebrews 12:1 (KJV).

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

This confirmed my need to lose weight! Even the Bible said so! What contributes to weight gain? Eating too many calories! I needed a healthier diet. What a difference that made on my scale! With diligence, I started watching my weight go down.

But wait, Hebrews 12:1 isn’t about dieting. It’s about a life change.

When I was in high school, one of my acquaintances came to school high on drugs. She could barely make it up the stairs to the gym class. That’s when she asked for help from me and my best friend. As we were struggling to get her up the stairs she begged us not to do drugs ever. She told us how her drug use was ruining her life. That’s why she was so intent on making it to class. One more miss, and she would have been in trouble, possibly suspended.

I remembered hearing the rumors of her last drug overdose. She almost died. She told us while we struggled up the stairs that we were two of the nicest girls in school. She made us both promise not to ever get started on drug use. She didn’t want us to make her mistake. Of course we promised. That weight of drug addiction she carried around was a heavy burden. The damage to her body and her reputation could be repaired, but only if she could stay off drugs.

There are other weights that rob us of our joy and keep us from becoming who God created us to be. Unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking rob us of our money and health. Habits such as lying and cheating rob us of our credibility. There are personal habits that further demonstrate irresponsibility like being chronically late, spending all our money, or never keeping a promise.

Sin so easily captivates us because it seems harmless, but in the end it’s a destroyer. In the Bible, weight is something that keeps us from doing what is righteous in God’s eyes.  It holds us down; trapped, and miserable.

Hebrews 12:1 is encouraging to me because it is a reminder that weight is often something we carry around and don’t necessarily need. On our own, we can’t get rid of the weights that are ruining our lives. We need God’s help.

God changes lives when our trust is placed in Him and in His Word. Each of us can know for sure we will have a place with Him in Heaven if we will call upon His name and ask Him to save us. We can know for sure our sin is forgiven if we will confess it and turn away from it.  

We need to be changed! Let’s lose the weights that hold us back from being the people we were created to be!

For more information about getting right with God, check out this presentation at: http://evangelismexplosion.org/resources/steps-to-life/

Written by: Linda Hull

 

8 Fun Things To Help Kill Boredom At Home

When you’re bored at home and you can’t go out, or you can’t be bothered to go out, being able to kill boredom is key to not going stir crazy. If you need some inspiration, here are 8 fun things you can do to kill boredom at home. Take a look and see what you find:

Learn A Brand New Skill

Why not take this time at home to learn a brand new skill? There are so many ways you can do this, many of which are for free! You could take a look at tutorials on YouTube, sign up to SkillShare (they sometimes have a ridiculously cheap offer for 3 months membership and unlimited courses), or even use Udemy, where you pay per course. However, many courses on Udemy are free. You can learn just about anything you can think of; how to make jewelry, how to play an instrument, drawing, speaking another language – the list goes on!

Bake Some Sweet Stuff

The great thing about baking sweet stuff is that you can settle down with your cookies or cakes afterwards and indulge. You could decorate them in a really fun way and even give some to friends and family if you make lots of them and want to avoid a binge!

Binge Watch A Series/Films

Just because you don’t want to binge on cookies doesn’t mean you can’t binge on a series or some films! Apps like MovieBox APK are pretty good for this, but you’ll need to read a few reviews to make sure you find the right one for you. Many allow you to sync the programs you want to watch to other devices.

Try Some Upcycling

Upcycling is a super fun and creative way to bring life to an old piece of furniture. You could paint it a brand new colour, use stencils on it, add new hardware, and so much more. You could give it a subtle makeover or make it look completely different. There are tutorials online for this too if you need some help.

Write A Story

Do you come up with great ideas for stories but never do anything about them? Now’s your chance! Writing a story can help you to improve your writing skills, and you could even come up with something amazing. It’s up to you what you do with your story once you’re finished. You could share it on a site like Wattpad, where people read your stories chapter by chapter and give you feedback. People have even had offers from publishers this way! Just write, regardless of what you think it will turn out like.

Color Something In

Coloring isn’t just for kids. Adult coloring books can be really relaxing, almost like a form of meditation. If you don’t have a book, you could print something out.

Read Something

How about reading something? You could even try reading out loud if you have your family with you, and take it in turns to read chapters. People don’t do this enough these days, and it could be a great way for you all to enjoy a story together.

Make A Scrapbook

How about scrapbooking some of your favorite pictures and bits and bobs? You’ll be able to look back on your memories with a smile for years to come!

Wow! Playing An Instrument Can Make You Smarter & Help You Study Harder

Studying can be very hard, particularly if you just don’t understand the topic you’re studying. You sit there at your desk and close your eyes wishing that you could be just that little bit smarter. Well, did you know that playing an instrument can actually make you a better student? That’s right, playing an instrument is proven to make you smarter, which will help you study harder.

Sounds pretty cool, right? But, how does it happen?

 

How Instruments Make You Smarter

To start explaining things, we need to take a look at the human brain. A brain is made up of many different sections, all of which contribute to different things. When you play an instrument, you get loads of different parts of your brain all working together at the same time. What this means is that your brain starts to work a lot harder, which helps you develop certain skills, and become smarter.

The biggest link between musical instruments and studying has to be the effect they have on your memory and processing skills. When you play an instrument, you have to memorize things and study lots of musical notes to make sense of chords, etc. This helps you develop your memory and processing skills, which is essential if you want to be smarter. It translates to your student life and helps you remember things better when studying for tests.

Playing an instrument can also help you with your visual and motor skills, as well as your problem-solving skills. If you play from a young age, it will benefit you throughout your life and help you improve key skills that assist with your studies.

The Best Instruments To Play

While playing any instrument is a great idea, there are a few that will help you get the best results. So, pay attention and see if any of these instruments interests you:

Guitars are said to be one of the best things you can play if you want to give your brain a big boost. Picking up something like a Yamaha FG700s will stimulate your brain, as guitars require you to do two things at once with both hands. You have to strum the strings while also working your other fingers into position to create chords.

Playing the piano is another thing that’s highly recommended. Again, this is because you use both your hands at once, which increases the brainpower you use. The piano also requires you to learn sheet music, which further develops your brain. If you can’t fit a piano in your house or student accommodation, then a small keyboard will do the trick too!

Finally, there’s the violin. Another two-handed instrument that’s tough to play, but will bring great results. Once more, you have to train your brain to focus on multiple things at once when playing this instrument. But, there’s the added benefit of the bow, which puts an emphasis on manual dexterity skills.

So, if you’re stressing about your studies and wish you could be a little bit smarter, why don’t you try playing an instrument? You’ll be surprised at how effective it might be!

Worried About A Friend: How You Can Help

Whether at school or in college, sometimes we can notice changes in our friends which over time can cause us to worry.

Maybe they are a little quieter than usual in class.  Or you have noticed them looking distracted.  Whilst often it can be nothing more than a simple phase or maybe they are just a little tired after a few late nights, it could be there is something more serious that they need to talk about or, with their health.

The most important thing is to respect their privacy.  If they have trouble at home they may not want to talk about it, and that is their choice.  However the first thing you should do is quietly mention to them that you have noticed there is something wrong.  Wait to see how they react.  If they stay quiet then put your hand on their arm and reassure them that you are always available.  Let them know that you aren’t going to keep going on about it, but you will always listen.

If your friend feels ready to share then you need to be prepared just to listen.  Often talking a problem through can lift a lot of the pressure.  They may ask you for advice and on smaller issues like school stress or boyfriend troubles, you can give some best friend pep talks.  However on larger, more complicated problems at home or within themselves, the best advice is to always speak to an adult.  Either someone in school or at a local youth or support centre.  Offer to go with your friend and be there every step of the way.  It may be most appropriate for her to tell her parents how she feels.  If that is the case, offer her guidance and if she is really worried, maybe suggest she talks to your parents and gets their advice.  Do not give any advice fuelled by your own emotion, you could influence a decision that may not be taking into consideration the varying subtleties of the situation.

Occasionally it is health worries that cause our concern for friends.  If your pal is reluctant to talk you could get some advice from a doctor app.  Your friend may be showing symptoms of something serious such as diabetes or an eating disorder.  If this is the case, talk to her and let her know you are really worried.  Offer to go with her to the doctor and help her talk to an adult.  

We go through a lot of emotional and physical changes as we grow into young adults and it can be hard to admit these or share experiences with other people.  Whilst you cannot force anyone to take care of themselves or unload their worries, you can ensure you are always available and ready to listen and although privacy is vital, you may be able to get advice from your parents on how to help.

Girls need to stick together and then stay together when they are women.  Never judge and always support.  Those are the basic rules of friendship.

Stopping Stress Getting In The Way Of Your School Life

They say that your school days are meant to be the best days of your life. This can be true in many cases, but they can also be some of the most stressful times as well. There is so much focus on doing well in exams and getting into college – as well as keeping on top of all extracurricular activities – that sometimes it can all get a bit too much. Many teenagers in the education system admit to feeling overly stressed or anxious as a result of their studies – something that can have a negative impact on your academic performance, as well as your social life. High school doesn’t last forever, and like most people, you probably want to have happy memories of it. If school related stress is getting you down, here are some ways you can manage your anxieties.

Get enough sleep

This might seem obvious – after all, your parents are forever nagging at you to go to bed at a reasonable time, when all you want to do is stay up and watch Dance Moms. But unfortunately, on this occasion they might have a point. Being sleep deprived means that your brain struggles to concentrate and you won’t be as sharp in lessons, meaning that your grades are at risk of slipping. If you don’t already have one, try to implement a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you to wind down. Create a safe space in your bedroom with the help of candles and dim lighting – you can even look into the effects of gemstones to aid in helping you drift off to sleep.

Drop some of the extra curricular stuff

When we are in junior school, we are used to being a part of lots of sports teams, drama clubs and various other classes taking part outside of school hours. But once we have moved up to high school our studies intensify and it becomes more and more difficult to keep on top of all these extra things – as well as having a social life too! If you try and do it all, you will eventually burn out, and again, your grades may end up suffering as a result. Take a look at the classes and clubs you are a part of and see if there’s any of them that you wouldn’t mind dropping – thus giving you more time to relax and check in with yourself.

Tackle your assignments one at a time

We all know how it feels when a deadline is approaching and we try and do a million things at once. Our words and thoughts get jumbled and what we end up producing all seems a little disjointed. To produce assignments of quality, only focus on one at a time – the most pressing one comes first. That way, you can give the task all of your focus and you and concentrate your flow of thought on one particular topic, before moving onto the next task.

Tips For Preparing To Spend A Semester Abroad

So you’ve heard how great a semester studying abroad looks on your resume, and so you’ve decided to be brave and jet off to somewhere new for a couple of months. The chances are that you’re feeling both excited and anxious about spending a semester studying in another country, which is completely normal. The important thing is not to let your excitement or anxiety get the better of you – you need to ensure that in the lead up to when you jet off, you spend as much time as possible planning, so that you are able to make the most of your time away.

Get your travel documents in order

The first step when planning to spend a semester studying abroad is to get your travel documents in order. This should include checking that your passport is in date and will be in date by six months throughout your entire trip. If your passport goes out of date while you are away or just after you are meant to return home, it’s best to renew it. That way, no matter what happens you know that you’re covered.

As well as your passport, you also need to look into whether or not you will need a visa – this information is available online, and will also need to take out travel insurance. Oh, and don’t forget to book your plane ticket and transfers to and from the airport in advance, as the sooner you do it, the cheaper it will be.

Pick your accommodation

Once you’ve got your travel documents in order, the next step is to think about your accommodation. If the program that you are taking part in is run by your college, you may already have accommodation sorted. However, if accommodation hasn’t been sorted as part of the exchange program, you need to take your time to choose where you will stay.

Could renting a room in a house share be the answer? Could finding dormitory accommodation be the the best option? Or, could staying in Homestay accommodation with a local family work well? Where you choose to stay depends on the type of experience you want to have while you are studying, so make sure to take your time to consider each option.

Research your new place of study

It’s a good idea to take the time to research your new place of study and the surrounding area so that you know what to expect when you arrive.

As well as getting to grips with the layout of the college by downloading an online map from the website, research the extra curricular activities on offer – playing sports or joining a society of some sort is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Find out what goes on in the area – where are the gyms, what are the best places to eat at, where do the students tend to hang out? The more research you can do, the better.

If you take the time to plan your semester abroad, you are sure to have the most incredible couple of months. So, make sure to plan carefully, to ensure that your time studying abroad is everything that you hoped it would be and more.