When studying abroad, how often do you visit surrounding countries?

<p>i will be studying abroad in france for a semester and want to travel around the country and surounding ones while im there, possibly even as far as thailand. how many times do people visit other countries will studting abroad, twice a month? every weekend?</p>

<p>I studied abroad in France for a semester and here’s what I did:</p>

<p>We had two week-long breaks, one in February and one in April. I spent most of the first in Rome and all of the second in London. Pretty much everybody on my program traveled during both of those breaks. Some people stayed in France, some people country-hopped - the farthest anybody went was Morocco, I think.<br>
I also skipped a week of school in March to meet up with my parents in Switzerland.
The program included a series of trips as well. Part of our orientation was a three day trip to the Loire valley. During the semester we had two day trips on Saturdays, and one weekend-long trip. These were to other parts of France, no more than a couple of hours on the bus away.</p>

<p>IMO, traveling every week or every other week is ridiculous. You should get to know your own city. There’s something magical about starting a Saturday morning at the local bakery and then heading with friends to a little picnic spot by the local chateau. While studying abroad is a great excuse to travel, it’s also incredibly valuable because it teaches you how people really LIVE in another country. You won’t see that if you’re always away. And, quite frankly, your language skills probably won’t improve as much.</p>

<p>Also - look into prices. Travel is expensive, even in Europe. Even taking RyanAir and EasyJet and trains everywhere, I spent a lot of money just getting places - and that was before paying for hostels and food and whatnot.</p>

<p>Erm - Thailand is not even close to “surrounding” France! Have you thought about just doing study abroad in Thailand instead?</p>

<p>thanks for the response mrbc. i might not go as far as thailand and just spend one of the breaks in morocco and visit a few others throughout my stay. most of my time will definetly be spent in paris though.</p>

<p>I am studying abroad next school year, and I am also excited about the opportunity to travel. I will be traveling for two weeks during one of the breaks, and then travel more extensively once the program is finished. I do not want to travel every weekend while I am on my program, for one, I would be missing out on getting to know the city I am in, but also because I think that if you are vacationing the whole time your grades may suffer. Again, that is just how I look at it.</p>

<p>Also - as others have mentioned, your language skills will not increase as much either if you are constantly in other countries (not using that language) - and one of the primary reasons I am studying abroad is language acquisition -</p>


<p>I studied in London and my schedule allowed me to do short trips every weekend if I so desired! I’m not sure how your schedule in France would work but my schedule gave me classes only on Tues-Thurs so I was able to travel Fri-Mon if I really wanted to. I mostly did Thurs night/Fri morning to Sun so I had time to do homework and study.</p>

<p>In reality, I only traveled to about 4 different countries (Italy, France, Spain, and Poland) for weekends due to money and did some day trips/one weekend trip around England. Travel IS expensive but being in Europe is the perfect time to take advantage of the cheaper prices compared to if you were in the states. Cheaper flights can be found on weekdays, obviously, and that worked to my advantage with my school schedule. </p>

<p>With the exchange rate though, that is what makes it expensive. I mean for a small dinner I spent about 8 EUR in Italy which equals to like $10. Wahhh, wallet! But I can’t complain since sterling is even worse. :(</p>

<p>You have to note though, some places are more expensive than others. For example, I couldn’t go to Germany because plane tickets were just significantly more than going to Italy or Spain. And in some places, hostels are just expensive even though plane tickets were dirt cheap (couldn’t remember the country… lol).</p>

<p>Lullababies - everything is relative, isn’t it!! I’m chuckling because personally I found Italy to be the cheapest place I went. France was fairly expensive, London was pricey and Switzerland was RIDICULOUS (thank goodness my parents were paying for it!) But I also live in New York City, so $10 for dinner seems incredibly cheap to me!
You’re totally right, though - some places are much cheaper to visit. I had some friends who did extensive backpacking through Eastern Europe, because it was very cheap to stay and eat and travel there.</p>

<p>My son (studying abroad) travels every weekend, mostly into border countries and only overnight by train. He learns valuable skills, such as dealing with a completely different language, different customs, different monies and is able to brush up on the history of that area. And as he reaches further into those countries he will be able to state “extensive” travel in those countries on his resume. Considering he plans on working internationally this is actually a very important item. And regarding the language he is studying, he is taking the classes (economics etc.) that are taught in that language…so he has that issue covered.</p>

<p>Personally I disagree that by taking classes in a foreign language, you have that “covered.” Language isn’t just about listening, and you need to use it in a wide variety of situations to really become fluent. I spent time with my host mother’s granddaughters in France, and learned a multitude of words that never came up in class - words you use with small children to describe comfort objects and going to sleep. When I spoke with French college students, I learned slang. When I spoke with my host parents, I learned food words and house words - every day routine words. When I listened to university lectures I learned words to describe history. And I wasn’t just listening - I was talking too.</p>

<p>tobeducated, to me it sounds like your son is learning a little about a lot of things - which is great for him, if that’s what he wants to do. but for me, personally, I’m glad that I really got to know one city in great depth. I’ll hopefully get to travel in Europe again, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to live in a European city again.</p>

<p>When I was in Florence, I spent the first four weeks immersing myself in the culture and then I began to travel quite frequently. I think this is a good idea because once you are familiar with your host countries culture, you can begin to understand other cultures as well. Try to visit the cities within a couple of hours where you are and maybe take one or two plane flights to cities you really want to see!</p>

<p>It really depends where you are studying as well as how your program is and how much money you want to and can afford to spend. Both of my daughter’s programs included some trips. For older d, studying studio art and art history in Rome, there were required trips in one of her classes that we paid extra for in advance as part of tuition and those were to Florence, Siena and Venice. On her fall break she went to Vienna and Prague. For Thanksgiving weekend, she went to Paris and she stopped to visit a friend in London for a few days on the way home with that stop scheduled when we booked her airfare the previous spring. Younger d studied music in Vienna and her program included orientation in the Alps as well as first-come sign-ups for extra trips including Thanksiving weekend ski trip to the Alps. She traveled to Paris and Prague on the fall break, and weekends to Salzburg, as well as Budapest and Bratislava. Her program also included frequent rehersals and recitals on weekends, so most did not travel all that much. Plus the dollar against the euro was not that favorable her semester abroad and travel and eating much more expensive than it used to be.</p>

<p>This is an interesting question! For me, I wouldn’t travel to any surrounding country because I want to explore the country I’m studying abroad in! For instance, if I’m [studying</a> abroad](<a href=“http://www.cbl-international.com%22%5Dstudying”>http://www.cbl-international.com) in France, I would rather goto different cities within France and to really get to know the culture and language. While I understand going to closer countries such as England, Spain, and Germany, isn’t Thailand way out there?</p>