In Study U Abroad I write, “If you’re caught up thinking about what you’re missing back home while touring the Louvre or more concerned about posting pics of the Eiffel Tower to your Facebook page while you’re still standing at its base, are you really in Paris?”
One of the best parts of Study Abroad is having new experiences and creating lasting memories. To do this, however, you have to learn to be fully present and soak in each moment as it happens. It sounds easier than it is. Nowadays there are so many distractions with emails, texts, social media, and millions of apps at your fingertips. It takes effort to stay focused on what’s going on around you.
Check in with yourself the next time you’re out with friends, on a weekend excursion, or just having dinner with your host family. Are you fully taking in the people, the place, the smells, and the tastes, or is your attention elsewhere? When you notice your mind is distracted practice returning to the here and now. This really can transform your interactions. Coffee with friends, sunsets, busy streets, walks in the park, and everything else you may do takes on new meaning.
Being present on Study Abroad can turn ordinary experiences into your best souvenirs. Try it out!