Why you Should Research your Destination before you go
What should you know before you go to the United Stated to learn English? Research your destination before you go is an important piece of advice for international students. Researching to find the best travel guides and generally informing yourself about the country, city and culture will increase your curiosity and help you identify what you want to see, do and discover while you are there.
How to Research Your Destination Before You Arrive
- Study maps
Look at maps to see where your school is in relation to the city and where you will be living. You can check places of interest nearby, public transport routes and stops close to you, as well as shops, grocery stores and restaurants.
- Read a novel or memoir
Novels, travelogues, memoirs, histories set in your destination are a great way of getting to know a place from somebody else’s perspective.
- Check out the destination’s Instagram and Facebook Pages
Here you will see cool photos of the street life, favorite sights, people, restaurants and scenery as well information about events, fairs, and happenings in the city. You will get a better sense of what locals and tourists alike enjoy about the city.
- Google the best websites for you to know about.
If you use keyword searches that reflect your focus of interest, for example, free, cheap, trendy, romantic, nightlife, best… you will find tons of useful information to sift through and bookmark for a later date.
If you have a hobby that you like to indulge while traveling — such as pottery, hiking, stargazing, bird watching or photography — you can do a search for those terms as well, and possibly discover unique and meaningful activities that wouldn’t necessarily make it into anyone else’s top 10 list.
- Watch movies including documentaries
Understand what the city is about, its history, energy, issues and social fabric by watching movies about the destination or the wider region in which your city is situated.
- Learn a few phrases
In addition to some useful basic words and phrases that help you find your way around, research what local phrases and expressions are typical of the area and learn them.
- Read the news
Read news and current affairs sites about the destination, including weather reports. If you understand what’s going on, you will know how you need to pack, or what you need to be cautious about and what you really cannot miss.
Becoming familiar with the best travel sites for your destination, looking at local listings and generally informing yourself about what you should know before you go is going to make your experience safer, easier and much more interesting.
For more about preparing for your journey as an international student in the USA, download our e-Guide here!