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Preparing to Study Abroad

1. What is culture shock and what can one do about it?

It is completely normal for students to experience some level of anxiety, disorientation, or uncertainty when they arrive overseas. These feelings grow out of the challenges in assimilating the new culture. Many students report a "honeymoon" phase when they are filled with the initial excitement of their new host country.  These feelings often change, typically, when students encounter their first serious cultural difference. This can be a great personal challenge. Most students learn how to adapt to these differences, how to communicate more effectively, and overcome this uncertainty. The skills developed in the face of these challenges will serve students well in future endeavors and are very appealing to employers. Students may turn to Education Abroad at UK for guidance, but we also encourage students to seek out their program director, host family, or classmates to help identify issues and find solutions.

2. What can one do to be prepared for the education abroad program?

Preparation is key to having a rewarding and positive education abroad experience. It's very important that students attend all pre-departure orientations facilitated by Education Abroad, as well as to read all important emails and documents carefully.  Additionally, we encourage students to contact past participants and other students who have previously studied abroad. These past participants can provide great information on what it's like to live and study abroad. Education Abroad Peer Ambassadors (EAPAs) are also available to speak to students about their experiences abroad.

3. What is an ISIC and how do I get one?

ISIC stands for International Student Identification Card and can be used by students overseas to obtain student discounts on items such as transportation, dining, museums, and airfare. Most U.S. student I.D cards are not accepted overseas. For this reason the ISIC can be helpful. To purchase an ISIC, please visit the Wildcat ID Center.