Kicking off Season 2 of the college’s hit web series Ask the College Experts is Associate Dean and Director for Global Education Darren Gallant, who offers tips for students looking to get the most out of study abroad.

Season 1 of Ask the College Experts included tips on writing a good college application essay and what to expect from the interview.

Here’s Gallant’s advice:

  • Study abroad is a means to an end: learning about a place. “It’s not a vacation or trip or travel opportunity,” he says.
  • While you will have lots of support as you plan your studies, you’re in the driver’s seat. “You’re the one who makes the decision of when you go, how you go, and where you go.”
  • Expect an academically different semester, “steeped in learning a new culture, society and way of life.”
  • Expect the need to be flexible.
  • Expect to learn things about yourself that you’d never thought you’d learn.
  • And finally: “Pack less! You don’t need as much as you think you need when you study abroad.”

Created to support Bates admission goals, Ask the (College) Experts won a Grand Gold award last year from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the preeminent organization for higher education communications and advancement professionals.