6 Things To Do During Your First Week At Kaplan
For many students, your first week of studying abroad in a new country is an incredibly nerve-wracking and daunting experience. Although everything is different, it could (and should) be one of the most exciting weeks of your life, so read on for our tips to make your transition into life abroad a fun experience, with our 6 Things To Do During Your First Week At Kaplan.
- Unpack and get settled in
One of the easiest ways of transitioning from one city to another is to avoid living out of your suitcase – unpack all of your clothes and belongings, and find a space for everything. Once everything is nicely organised and has its own place, it will help you establish your new room into YOUR room. Another great way to do this is to put memorabilia from home in your room – whether its pictures, posters or magazines, bringing small things from your will help you to feel more settled, and will hopefully help avoid homesickness.
- Learn the local area
Aside from familiarising yourself with the immediate area surrounding where you live and where you are going to attend classes, it is really important to familiarise yourself with the extended town that will become your home. Seeing as you’re new to the town, act like a tourist and do a walking tour of the city. Finding out the best places to eat, shop and hang out will make the area feel special, and soon enough it will make you feel more settled and comfortable with your new surroundings. Set yourself a challenge to find the shortcuts that nobody knows about, or the café’s with the best brownies. Make memories, and make it home. Why not even connect with other Kaplan students and document your first week on Instagram with the #KaplanExperience . Learning the local transportation is another important thing to do, as the sooner you learn the easiest and quickest ways to navigate around the city, the sooner you will feel less like a visitor and more like a local.
- Explore your school
Considering you will be spending a large portion of your time at school, it is important to familiarise yourself with the campus, and get to know the buildings and the library. Find out where your classes will be held, how to rent books from the library, quiet areas to study, and where does the best coffee on campus. Knowing the quickest routes to school or knowing where your classes are held will ease first day nerves, and can even be used as an ice-breaker if you spot someone looking lost – go over and offer some advice, it’ll be a great ice-breaker, and is a great way to make friends.
- Make friends
Although it seems like a no-brainer, one of the most important things to do during your #KaplanExperience and first week abroad is to make as many new friends as possible. Everyone is in the same position, and everyone is keen to make friends, so take advantage of this and strike up a conversation with someone new. You are all likely to be feeling as nervous and as homesick as each other, so find comfort in each other and enjoy this new experience together. Try not to do what is comfortable and be-friend people who are of the same nationality as you. Becoming friends with people from different countries is a great way of learning about new cultures, and is an even better way to practice your language skills. With no shared language, you will be forced to practice your English and improve your speaking and listening skills.
- Join a club or society
Joining a club or society is a huge part of spending time abroad, and is a great way of settling into your new life during your first week at Kaplan. Whether you’re taking part in an activity that you do regularly, or are trying something new, joining a club is a fantastic way to make friends, and an even better way to discover new hobbies and skills, and to challenge yourself. In addition to these benefits, it’s also a great way of establishing a routine, helping you to bring some normality and stability to your new life.
- Step out of your comfort zone
One of the best things about studying abroad is having the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try a multitude of new things. If you’re a fussy eater, try new foods. If you’re a bad cook, take a cooking class. Have an irrational fear? Conquer it. With plenty of new opportunities, now is the best time to put your excuses aside and do things that challenge you. Consider your time abroad as a fresh start, and as a time to re-invent yourself and become the person that you want to be.
Most importantly, your first week at Kaplan is all about having fun – so enjoy yourself. If you’ve tried all of the above and you are still having difficulty settling in, check out our tips on how to avoid homesickness.