Adjusting To Life In A New Country

Nicole Bagala Stirling, Scotland


November 22, 2022

So you’ve arrived at your study abroad destination. Awesome! But before you can enjoy the country you’re in, you need to adjust to your new environment first.

First things first, before you get on the plane make sure you have the right electrical adapters for your country of study. I brought the adapters my sister used when she studied abroad in Europe, but she never went to Scotland, and I was mortified to learn they weren’t the right kind. Fortunately I had a fully charged battery pack on me, and my phone and computer lasted until I was able to buy the right adapters from the Boots Pharmacy and Apple Store in Edinburgh. So make sure you look up stuff like that so you won’t have any surprises when you arrive.

Once you have arrived at your accommodation, it’s a good idea to start settling in quickly. I know it may seem daunting at first, so I recommend you start by making your bed. It is the quickest thing to do, and once it is set up, you’ll be able to sleep when night falls. Next, look around your room and see what you have. Rooms will usually have a closet, bed and desk, so check out everything. This will give you an idea on where you want to put your belongings.

After making the bed and looking through the furniture, that’s when it’s time to unpack your suitcases. When they’re empty, store them inside each other. It will save space in your bedroom, especially if you can’t fit them in your closet. Also, try to fit your underwear and socks in a single drawer so you have room for extra clothes in the other drawers.

After you’re settled into your accommodation, you’re going to want to buy groceries and cooking supplies. Scotland university students do not have the luxury of having a meal plan like college students in the USA, so they have to cook or buy all their meals themselves. Therefore, make sure you have a usable credit card or paper pound sterlings to use in grocery stores, and make sure you know which bank branch is partnered with your bank in the USA so you can get more cash overseas (always have cards and cash on you). Once you have the necessary funds, I recommend buying pots, pans, spatulas and silverware before buying groceries. Sure, you may not be able to take this cookware home with you, but you can always find someone to give it to at the end of the semester. To prevent spending money on dishes you’ll only use for a short time, you can buy paper plates and cups if you wish. Finally, Scotland grocery stores offer reusable plastic grocery bags for 60 pence each, but I recommend bringing reusable bags from the USA so you won’t have to buy bags.

Hopefully these tips will serve you well!