• The Language Union

What is it like to travel abroad for the first time ever?

Most Europeans have been overseas at least a few times in their lives. This is mainly due to the fact that most countries are located within close proximity to each other, and with the help of low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet.

However, traveling is not as straightforward if you come from other parts of the world.

Just ask Brenda from Sao Paolo (Brazil) who took a flight and stepped her foot abroad for the first time in January 2020. We have reached out to her to ask about her experiences and whether she has any tips for other first-time travellers.

TLU: In the beginning of last year, you decided to travel abroad by yourself and study English in London. Was it a scary experience and what were your thoughts before going to the airport and after you had arrived in London?

Brenda: I was nervous but very excited at the same time. Everything was new for me. The security checks, the check-in etc. A staff member had to help me finding my gate for instance. Once I was inside the plane, I wasn’t nervous anymore, but just looking forward arriving to England!

When the plan landed it was easy because I just followed the other passengers, and the passport controller was friendly. I took a taxi directly to my host family for my own comfort.

TLU: What were your impressions arriving in a new country? Any culture shock or any other impressions you would like to share with us?

Brenda: The climate for sure. In Brazil, the weather is often hot even in the winter. In London, it was very windy and grey and it was difficult for me as I wasn’t used to it. I thought it was strange that the British people drink beer early in the afternoon in the pubs. In Brazil, this would be frowned upon.

I really like the people though. They are friendly and are happy to help with directions.

TLU: You stayed with a host family. Can you tell us a bit about your experience living with a British family?

Brenda: They were so nice to me and I miss them a lot! It was a husband and wife with 2 daughters. We always had dinner together, and often we would watch movies or play board games.

Everything was new for me so it felt so good having them to help me with directions and how everything works in London.

TLU: Please let us know how your time at your language school was.

Brenda: I was very nervous on my first day, but those feelings disappeared when I got to meet my classmates. Some of them were new just like me, and some of them had already started a few weeks earlier. I got along well with everyone including the teachers. My school were organizing social programmes every day where we did activities with other students and a staff member. This also made it easier to meet new people and to improve my English.

The classes were great and I feel that I have learned a lot during my time there.

TLU: Any advice you would like to give to other students who travel abroad for the first time ever?

Brenda: Don’t be afraid! There will be people who will help you and you won’t be the only one in the same situation. I recommend to stay with a host family and not in a student residence or a hotel. The family is there as a support and will help you whenever needed.

It’s an amazing experience discovering a new country and culture, so just go for it!

TLU: Thank you so much for taking your time answering our questions, and we hope that you will get another opportunity to study overseas again soon.