Me standing on the dunes in the Sahara Desert of Morocco. This was one of my favorite days abroad, and it was the one place I never expected to go.

By Bella Ferretti

As a Florida State University (FSU) Valencia study-abroad student, I went to five countries, two continents and nine cities, all in the span of six weeks. You could say that I made the most of these six weeks and learned the system of traveling throughout Europe. Considering I had never traveled alone or even booked a flight prior to this, I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in terms of living and traveling in Europe. Although everyone has their own advice on how to make the most while studying abroad, here are some things that I wish I knew before starting my journey.

My first recommendation is to only book a one-way ticket to Europe. Why, you may ask? Well, odds are, you will fall in love with the experience and never want to leave. I think that booking the return flight later is the best idea in case you decide to extend your trip and skip the hassle of switching flights.

When it comes to weekend travel, I suggest booking some flights and hotels several weeks in advance to save money. Although I often found that I made last-minute plans with trips, I think it would have been beneficial to plan at least two trips in advance to avoid the headache of planning and the extra costs. Having a balance between spontaneous trips and planned trips allowed me to go places I would’ve never thought of, as well as have stress-free preplanned trips with friends.

Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in different cultures or go to places that are unfamiliar to you. From my experience, some of my most memorable days consisted of doing things I never thought I would in places that I had never even heard of.

I’m sure you will hear this a thousand times, but don’t leave your purse or belongings out of sight. My parents drilled this into my head before I left, but after three of my roommates left Europe missing their phones, wallets and purses, I realized the importance. Speaking of parents, don’t forget to call and send postcards to the people you care about (they appreciate it more than you know).

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you have full control of your experience. If you take anything from these tips, remember to keep an open mind and live each day to the fullest.

Previous articleResidents Of Hillsborough County Can Get Services At The SouthShore Community Resource Center
Next articleEye On Business; Riverview/Apollo Beach, July 2023