Baltimore, Maryland

Hi everyone!

My name is Awele, I am from London, UK. I am a sophomore political science major. I’m currently on a study abroad at UMBC, for a semester, and here are some things I did to prepare for my arrival at UMBC. Firstly, Plan, Plan, plan! Try to get to know the area where you are living, is it a city or a town? What’s the average temperature? What is the transport system like? What are the nearby states or countries you could travel to (That’s the fun part)?  Social media! You can find everything about a city such as their culture and traditions through Tiktok and Instagram. Also, reach out to people who attend or attended the school (such as myself) and get their opinions and help!

How to prepare for arrival! Pack accordingly, don’t over-pack! Again, What’s the average temperature? Trust me you don’t need to bring our whole wardrobe even half is too much! When you come to your new destination, you’ll be surprised to find out there are also malls and shops where you can buy new clothes. Read through your school and always ask your coordinator for help when it comes to your itinerary and downloading assigned readings! This process varies for each school, but you want to come prepared as possible! I forgot to buy a reading book and had to wait almost a month for it to arrive, you don’t want to make the same mistake.


Coming to UMBC! This is the fun part, coming to UMBC please know your move-in date and UMBC ID, this is very important as you need to access your room. Once you’ve moved in decorate your room! Represent the retrievers  (Their mascot). Buy merchandise from the UMBC store and explore the campus and the area there is a lot to see. Join Fraternities and sororities, community groups, etc..people are super friendly especially because you’re an international student!

Taking classes! Now big heads up will may or may not be hard. I feel like this one is a hit or miss it just depends on your home institution versus your study abroad. But you will most likely struggle to adjust the system regardless so make sure you reach out to your professors and classmates! (They are nice and it’s their job to help).


I didn’t get homesick until 2 months in! (This is because I’ve been to the States before) and my friends took me around and there was so much to do on campus. But after a while, I struggled to adjust because I’m from London, and large metropolitan city but Baltimore isn’t like that, I also don’t drive and of course, my family is thousands of miles away. However, this is the perfect time to travel and explore! I got the chance to go to New York City which is just like the movies… kind of. This is where I felt most at home because I loved the Busyness and the transport system. I also decided to explore more cities when I got the chance such as Chicago, Washington D.C, Miami, Dallas, and Atlanta! You should also do it’s a great way to discover new things and have a form of enjoyment! After all that hard work, you deserve it GOOD LUCK!