"The culture shock came in little things, like how you are supposed to move to the left instead of the right to avoid walking into someone, how you don’t tip waiters, how people don’t use Yelp, how there are no dollar bills or one cent coins, or how the slang, accents, and cultural references are different. But, I never would have imagined that all those changes would eventually feel normal to me after being there for just four months. It’s crazy to think about the amount I’ve unconsciously adjusted to Australia (I’ve gotten used to driving on the left side of the road and the voice in my head sometimes has an Aussie accent), so much so that I think readjusting to life back in the US will be another challenge. Study abroad gives you a taste for the world, but also makes you realize how much there still is left to see. I now understand that even around me at home, in the US, there were so many things I’ve never explored or were aware of, but study abroad has helped me realize that there are opportunities all around us – we just have to be able to see them."
"Hong Kong is a giant mix of people, which means a mix of different backgrounds, experiences, languages, and so much more. This is even prevalent on the HKUST campus itself – there were many organizations and events to share and connect with different people and share about yourself. Besides British and Chinese influences, you could experience other cultures almost anywhere, from going to an authentic restaurant, to talking with other people you see, to seeing advertisements and media from other countries. I thought that by going abroad, I would be able to learn more about Hong Kong and Chinese culture, but I was fortunate enough to learn about other cultures and people from all around the world."
"Studying abroad in Berlin truly was the best decision I made during my four years of undergraduate education. The main reason that I initially chose to go abroad was to experience another culture and challenge my comfort zone. As a senior I had become very comfortable with my daily routine at my home campus and was ready for a change. By studying abroad, I was kind of forced to start all over, which was fun and challenging. I had to learn a new language, become familiar with a new school and city, and meet new people. In doing so, I not only immersed myself in a new culture, but also learned a lot about myself and my personal growth over the past three years."
“One cultural transition I’ve noticed is fashion - at first you stick out like a sore thumb. Be patient in learning how to adapt. One thing that helps is to dress the part. You learn to observe what everyone else is wearing, how they act. Definitely pack light! Once you get here you can shop for clothes that the locals wear, the big stores here are Zara and Mango.”