You’ll need to memorize your home address. Learning your way around a new city (and public transportation) is one thing, but being able to tell a cab driver your address to get you home is quite another. The same can be said for memorizing a phone number (in case you lose your cell phone).
You need to learn how to cross the street. Whether it be dodging bikes in Copenhagen, having near-death experiences with rickshaws in Delhi or taxis in Rome, or simply having traffic on the opposite side of the road; you will have to re-learn looking both ways before (and while) crossing the street!
You need someone to explain things to you. Much like when you were a small child, you’re probably going to have lots of questions about what’s going on around you. And often, only a local can do that for you. What better motivation do you need to make a local friend, or chat with your host family over a meal?
You need to clean your plate! Not really, but you should be willing to try new things. In my house as a kid, we had the “one bite rule.” Try to have an open mind and enjoy the local fare!
You might have a hard time expressing yourself. If you’re studying in a foreign-speaking country, you’ll have daily challenges for your language skills. It’s hard not to feel like a kid when you talk like one. Related to this: You might be jealous of the 1st-graders… because they speak more fluently in the host language than you do. :)
Michelle Rembolt, DUSA Program Manager
P.S. This blog post was inspired to GoAbroad’s recent blog posting on Turning Back the Clock: 10 Ways Traveling Turns You into a Child. Check it out!