A letter to my pre-study self

Dear Former Self,

I want to start off by saying congratulations. I don’t think you ever truly understood or appreciated what you did. Choosing to move to another country is an amazing thing. Not everyone can say they’ve done that. You should be proud of yourself. You are about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Take it all in. This will change your life, for the better. Here are my top pieces of advice before you begin this journey. 

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Homesickness

You may get homesick. You will be miles away from your family and friends. I recommend taking the time to message them as often as you can, so you can minimize the feelings of being homesick. By doing this you will be able to fully immerse yourself in your new adventure while also calling your loved ones regularly. 
Also, print out some pictures from home, your family and friends and put them up on a wall to remind you of the precious memories and people from home. Bring recipes, scented candles, a blanket, or a cussion, anything that reminds you have home and gives you a familiar feeling.

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Comfort Zone

Go out and make new friends. Find a club or society that sounds interesting and go to the meeting- even if it means you must go alone. 
YOU WILL MAKE FRIENDS. Just try it. If you hate it, you never have to go to another event for that activity again. But you will never know if you don’t try. 
Get involved in activities at school but also in the city. There are so many resources for international students and you need to take advantage of those.

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Travel

You are in England. You are a short plane ride, sometimes even a bus or train, away from an amazing new city or country. Take advantage of this. 
Travel as much as you can. There are even societies at school and in the city that will organize trips for you. Do this. All you have to do is book the trip and show up. You won’t regret it. 
Also, get used to flying in a small seat with your carry-on luggage beneath your legs. You will be able to find some flights to different European countries for less than £50. Check out Google flights and always pay attention to the airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet. Your wallet will thank you later. 

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Meet New People

This is like getting out of your comfort zone but meet new people. Meet people from different countries. Avoid sticking with what is comfortable and only associating with people from your country. 
You will be amazed at how incredible people are from all over the world. You will gain a greater appreciation for individual differences and realize how much you love different people. You will be able to laugh about your differences but also uncover the many similarities you have with these people.

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Save money

(for travel of course)

You do not need those new shoes… or that sweater…or those cat printed socks…LEAVE PRIMARK NOW! You want to see the world and travel to new places. Avoid spending your money on clothing or items you don’t really need. Save that loan money for flights to Italy and Spain. 
Of course, you can treat yourself every once in a while, but always ask yourself… do I want to buy these new shoes or buy a flight to Amsterdam? 
P.S. It’s possible a Ryanair flight will cost about as much as those new shoes will. Choose wisely.

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You have gained new life experiences, made friends that will last a lifetime, and have decided you will continue to make traveling a priority in your life. So again, congratulations for taking the frightening step towards the path less traveled to better yourself and explore the world. You go girl!

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