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Congratulations! You got an internship in a new and exciting place. Now how do you make the most of it? Internships far from home can be great personal and professional development opportunities, so here are some tips to help make the most of your summer and avoid common pitfalls.
1. Be Proactive About Housing
Having a bad housing situation is the easiest way to ruin your summer. So once you get that offer letter, start looking in the area at least three months before your start date. Ask your HR person for advice, look at the local classified ads and see if you know anyone else going there in the summer. Call your potential roommates and talk about your habits and preferences. And make sure that you don’t get scammed — ask to call your landlord to video tour the house and check the ownership of the house through the local appraisal district website.
2. Find Your Support
Living in a new place can be lonely, especially if Texas A&M isn’t far from home for you. So find your support network there. If you have roommates, that’s a great place to start. Network with the other interns and plan weekend outings. Coffee shops and libraries are also great places to meet friends. Don’t forget to stay in touch with people back home. And most importantly, it’s ok to go alone. Solo travel is really fun with proper safety precautions.
3. Engage in the Area
Don’t just sit at home! Every city has its own unique culture. Ask locals, check social media and see what cool things are in the area. Does a dance studio offer free classes? Is there a summer concert series? What about national parks nearby? The number of things to see is endless. Living in another place is also a way to experience different ways of life and different rhythms and priorities. Listen and watch wherever you are to understand how the area works and if you’d want to live there full-time.