6 Ways to Get to Know Your Host City while Studying Abroad

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Living and learning in a new city can be overwhelming. You want to see sights, eat local food, and get the most out of your study abroad experience as possible. Figuring out the best places to go in this new city abroad can be difficult, but here are six resources you can use to help you maneuver your host city.

1. Ask your IES Abroad Center staff

The IES Abroad staff can help you with all of your study abroad needs, which, of course, includes the fun stuff like finding places to try for dinner, the best local cafés, or a must-see cultural performance. Seek out assistance and the staff will be happy to contribute their opinions!

2. Meet with a former student

Former students are always excited to share their experiences. Reach out to IES Abroad Ambassadors who previously studied abroad in your host city. Your local Study Abroad Office can also connect you with former students from your school. Use the IES Abroad website to see blog posts from Correspondents about their study abroad experiences and maybe draw some inspiration from there.

3. Ask local residents

Who knows a city better than the people who are from there? Ask a waitress for sightseeing recommendations. Ask a bus driver about delicious local restaurants. People usually take pride in their city and are willing to share some of their local gems with you.

4. Consult a map

When I studied abroad, we were given a map during orientation. This may not be the case for every location, but if you can get your hands on a map, there will likely be references to restaurants, museums, and other attractions in your study abroad city.

5. Check out a local newspaper

I suggest reading at least one local newspaper just for the culture (and to test out your foreign language skills). Newspapers are also a good place to look for advertisements for upcoming events.

6. Look at apps and websites

When in doubt, Google it! Travel websites like Trip Advisor are a good way to find tourist attractions in the area and can give you an idea of price. Another website I liked to use was Atlas Obscura, which showed some lesser known attractions. The Travel section of U.S. News & World Report is also a good online resource. Just type some keywords into a search engine, and you’ll get tons of results.

I hope some of these help you navigate the new city, and I wish you the best with your study abroad experience with IES Abroad.

Read more from IES Abroad students and their reflections on staying in their host country instead of traveling while abroad. Ready to find your study abroad host city? Explore our programs by location.


Erika Coy, IES Abroad Ambassador 
IES Abroad Vienna Summer - Psychology, Summer 2017 | Indiana University

Erika is from a small town in southeastern Indiana and studies Psychology at Indiana University. She always says yes to new adventures, and mentions that studying abroad opened her up to a whole new world of exploration and discovery.

 

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