Studying abroad can be quite a challenge sometimes. You have to get used to a whole new education system, and write exams and papers in another language. In spite of everything, of course, you’ll learn a whole lot. Besides all that studying, you should take some time to explore your temporary hometown as well. Here are five ways to discover a new city. Because sometimes, you just need to get off campus a bit more and explore your surroundings!
When you have successfully obtained a place at a foreign university, you might feel you need to spend much time there to succeed in your studies. While it is, of course, true to study sufficiently, do not forget that it is equally important to settle in a new city and make it feel like home. This is also a shout out to all the finalist or in-betweeners: It is time to try something new! There are five things I enjoy doing when I move to a new city because through them I easily get to know people as well as places.
I’ve been in my study abroad town for over six months now (I can’t believe how fast time flies by). To be honest, it took me a long time to settle in here, and it still doesn’t feel quite like home. However, compared to the first few months, it definitely feels more “right” now! I’ve found some great spots and met some lovely people and they make my study abroad adventure worth the while. If you’re still considering if you want to study abroad and for how long, I’ll definitely recommend you staying for one year. You need a few months to settle in and you don’t want to leave as soon as you feel comfortable. Take your time and you’ll definitely won’t regret it!
TASTE TEST LOCAL RESTAURANTS, BARS, AND CAFES
What can be better than tasting your way through the best restaurants, cafes and bars of the city? When I move to a new city I love to discover new coffee shops and restaurants as they always give me this little extra feeling of “home”. They’re not only perfect for a relaxed afternoon with friends, but also the perfect study place if you just can’t bear the library anymore.
Check the local tourist website for recommendations, ask someone at Uni or just stroll through the city and let your feet carry you somewhere. Try at least five different restaurants and let them blow the taste buds out of your mouth! Which one will be your favourite place to go? Since I moved to England three months ago, I tested two restaurants, several cafes (there is one I fell immediately in love with), as well as some bars and pubs. I haven’t found my favourite restaurant yet, so I’ll hope to explore some more during the next few months. For me, it’s quite essential to feel comfortable in the city I live in, and a big part of that is finding my favourite places to eat and relax after a long day at work and uni.
FIND A NEW STUDY SPOT TO GET OFF CAMPUS
A balance between fun and work is crucial. Grades are not everything, but they are still important. Why not relocate your weekly reading for one lecture into a nice and cosy cafe? You get out of the house and are still able to do something productive. Bonus point: they have coffee. I really love to do this because after a while in the library or my room I just can’t concentrate anymore. I need to be surrounded by different things from time to time to get the creativity going! As long as you don’t do that every day, your student budget can afford it. Check out this guide for more inspiration on your next study spot!
I recently went geocaching for the first time (a friend of mine introduced me to it), and it was such a great way to explore the city! It gets you out into the fresh air and introduces you to unusual and interesting locations. For those who don’t know what geocaching is: It is basically a treasure hunt with GPS coordinates. When you find the “treasure” you may take something from the cache and leave something in return, and for posterity, enter a log in the logbook. There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world—there are probably some near you right now.
GO ON A PUB CRAWL
Doing an organised Pub Crawl often takes you off the tourist trail to the best bars, clubs and music venues. It is also a fantastic way to meet new people – talking is always a lot easier with a drink in the hand. But I’d like to remind you, do not drink too much at the first few bars and rather try to relish the whole evening (you know, always enjoy responsible 😀 ). I have to confess that I’m not a huge party girl, but I really enjoy going to pubs and bars once in a while. If you join some clubs or societies at your university, they usually do bar crawls, too. It’s a nice way to get to know the other members a bit better.
RENT A BIKE
This is not only a great way to explore your surroundings, but also one of the easiest ways to get some exercise into your life. Rent a bike or borrow one from a friend and do a half-day tour through the outer areas of your city. You will find so many new spots you’ll love! I haven’t done this one yet in the city I currently live in (because I can’t be bothered to go outside in the winter) but it’s definitely on the list of things I’d like to do in spring/summer. Maybe you can organise something with your friends, a group tour is always fun.
So, that are my top five ways to get off campus and explore a new city. Now it’s your turn:
How do you usually explore new cities? What do you do to get off campus more? Let us know in the comment section below!