Studying abroad is a common dream for so many students. But only a handful of them ends up manifesting this desire. Financial worries aren’t the only reason that becomes a hurdle in their path. It’s also their mindset and limiting beliefs. Moving to another country can be frightening, especially if you’ve never been outside your comfort zone.
What Should You Read Before Studying Abroad?
Books are one of the best ways to learn about a specific topic. They inspire you, motivate you, and hold the power to change your life. If you are also overwhelmed with thoughts about studying abroad, you’re at the right place.
In this article, you will find a wholesome list of books that will ignite the fire of exploring the world in you. They will help you see great potential in yourself. So if this sounds fun, go ahead and make the most of these books.
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Britain is among the most desirable places for students to move in. And rightfully so! If you have Britain on your mind, this book is a must-read for you. I won’t exactly call this book a travelogue. It’s a combination of humor and lots of hopping around Britain. Bill Bryson, an American, spent twenty years in Britain but never had the opportunity to explore Britain properly. So, before shifting back to his native country, he spends around six weeks touring the country. The book contains commentary on Britain’s transport, hotels, culture, conventions, and more. It’s a super fun book. Especially if you are petrified of traveling or exploring but also want to come out of your comfort zone, then you have to read this book. You can get the book here! 📖
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Siddhartha is not your typical book. Written in 1922, Siddhartha encapsulates some of the most remarkable words of wisdom. We all know the story of Gautam Buddha. His story is inspirational. Not only because of his knowledge but more because of the way he strived to attain that wisdom. His zeal to travel and explore the world for knowledge is still unmatched. In this book, you will get to be a part of the spiritual journey of this boy named Siddhartha, who is on a path of self-discovery. The story takes place during the time of Buddha itself. This book will inspire you to explore the world and discover your true potential. You can get the book here! 📖
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors. He has written many books, and travel seems one of his most commonly touched upon subjects. Some of his books are loosely based on his own experiences as well. He is a dedicated traveler. He has been to many different parts of the world, and I love how he connects spirituality with his traveling experiences. This is one of the reasons why his novels have a distinct flavor of mysticism and magic. The Alchemist is one such book. It’s also a book that has converted many non-readers into dedicated readers. Just like me! The Alchemist was one of my first proper reads, and today I have a collection of almost 500 books. Crazy how a book can change your life, right? This is why you need to read The Alchemist if you are looking for inspiration to study abroad. The Alchemist is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of a treasure inside a ruined church. He then sets out on the journey to find the treasure. He meets many interesting people along his journey, and his experiences are nothing less than fascinating. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it’s a complete roller-coaster ride. I’ll say get this book and brace yourself for one hell of a journey. You can get the book here! 📖
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Some books heal and inspire you at the same time. Eat, Pray, Love is one such fantastic book. Significantly, this book will push you out of your comfort zone if you are going through a phase of indecision. Sometimes the best way to attain your highest potential is to take that giant leap of faith and listen to your heart. That’s exactly what Elizabeth Gilbert did. I love this even more because it’s her memoir. It’s not fictional but a real-life story of a woman who strived to come out of her mid-life crisis. To overcome a lousy divorce, heartbreak, and depression – Elizabeth sets out to travel to Italy, Bali, and India. Each place has something unique to offer. She found physical and spiritual nourishment in her travel. This book will inspire you to sit in the driving seat of your life and make critical decisions like studying abroad. You can get the book here! 📖
Losing North by Nancy Huston
One of the biggest reasons why people have difficulty deciding if they should move abroad is because our country gives us our identity. And with identity comes security. When you move abroad for studies or work, it’s only natural that you will feel out of place. It will be hard to relate to their culture and speak their language. Losing North by Nancy Huston talks about the practical problems one faces as an expatriate. And I think it’s always a good idea to be prepared! You can get the book here! 📖
The Stranger by Albert Camus
You may almost find this recommendation absurd but trust me, Camus’ philosophy has helped me make some significant decisions in my life. There are moments in our lives when we think about the grander scheme of things. We look for meaning in events and things. But what if someone told you that our endeavor to find purpose in life is futile. Albert Camus is renowned for his philosophy of Absurdity and Existentialism. Even though the author hasn’t talked about these philosophies openly in the book, it’s easy to comprehend that the perspectives are weaved in the story. This book will help you understand the futility of waiting for signs. If studying abroad is your destination, then go for it! And take this book along. You would need something to give you company on the flight! You can get the book here! 📖
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint
There are many themes and layers in this masterpiece fable called The Little Prince. But my favorite part about this book is how it inspires you to push your boundaries to find greatness. In this book, the Little Prince leaves his planet to find the truth, and his zeal to explore teaches him valuable lessons. The book inspires you to expand your horizons repeatedly. Someone who thinks they know everything is nothing but ignorant. And a person with false and outdated views because they have never explored possibilities is just as bad. It must be clear by now why I’m recommending this book to you. If a little prince can do it, so can you! You can get the book here! 📖
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Some books fill you with adrenaline. They make you feel like you can do anything. So if studying abroad is your dream, this book will be the final push to act upon your vision. It was hard for Cheryl to deal with her mother’s demise. Her family disintegrates, and her marriage goes downhill as if that wasn’t enough. Four years later, Cheryl has nothing to lose in her life anymore. She is devastated and hopeless. That’s when she takes this impulsive decision to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. And did I tell you that she would be alone on this whimsical adventure!? I’ll say this book is a must-read if you want to do something out-of-the-box. You can get the book here! 📖
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
The Gifts of Imperfections by Brene Brown was one of my top reads last year. All of us have a self-image. And this self-image guides our actions. If you think you’re worthy of something, you will subconsciously pursue it, whereas if you feel you aren’t decent enough, you’ll find ways of sabotaging things. With this book, Brene Brown teaches us the art of wholehearted living. You will learn to gather the courage to pursue your path of self-discovery. You will be inspired to embrace your ambitions, believe in your dreams, and work toward making them happen! You can get the book here! 📖
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking
Do you know the feeling of being cuddled up on your couch, reading a suspense thriller while sipping hot chocolate? We can call that feeling hygge. Hygge is a Danish word and doesn’t translate directly into English, but it’s all about the feeling of comfort and warmth. I’m sure you must have heard about the happiness index of Denmark. No country is perfect, but Denmark comes close to perfect. The little book of Hygge is a beautiful book that talks about the wonderful aspects of the Danish lifestyle. The book has lots of pictures, giving you the real feels! The next thing I wanted to do after reading this book was to move to Denmark. Well, I don’t know if Denmark is your dream study destination or not, but this book will inspire you to build a new life abroad. You can get the book here! 📖
Move to the Place of Your Dreams: A Relocation Handbook by Troy Heerwagen
If you’re wrestling with the thought of moving abroad for studies, this book will help you a lot in planning it. The author Troy Heerwagon moved from Texas to Seattle – two very different places, I know! Imagine the cultural shock. He moved along with his wife, baby daughter, and much-loved cat. In this book, Troy has not only shared his personal experience with moving, but he has also shared worksheets, checklists, step-by-step processes, etc. It will help you plan your move smoothly. And you will feel a lot more confident too! You can get the book here! 📖
Moving Out, Working Abroad and Keeping Your Sanity: 11 Secrets To Make Your Expat Life Better Than You Imagine by Levi Borba
Most people struggle to move abroad for studies or work because they’re worried about saving money, making friends, and fitting in. Let’s face it; moving countries is overwhelming. It would help if you learned about their culture, lifestyle, tax policies, etc. If you want to thrive like a resident in a foreign country, then this book will be your holy grail. The author Levi Borba is also an ex-pat consultant, so you know he has years of experience training people to find work-life balance in a foreign country. You can get the book here! 📖
It’s always a good idea to think about why you want to do something. Think about what’s that thing that’s pushing you to move abroad. Books are one of the best tools for self-improvement and self-actualization. I’m sure this list of books will inspire and motivate you to work towards your dream.
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