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The dreadful “Freshman 15” is back in a new form. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity for you to immerse yourself in different cultures and gain a whole new perspective. A lot of fun and socializing will be involved which, of course, revolves around food. This means you get to try a variety of exotic and tasty foods; as delicious as they may be, this can also put a toll on your health and old habits.

I’m not telling you to stay away from trying the big variety of Chinese food, but just keep everything in moderation. The opportunity to taste and experience a different country’s food is the best way to learn more about its culture. Food is food- so stray away from eating more than your body needs. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go crazy and start tracking your daily caloric intake, but just eyeball your portions. The best thing you can do while enjoying the cultural dishes is to ensure that you eat fresh fruits and veggies everyday!

There’s a lot of freedom in how you choose to eat your food, which also means there is a lot of freedom in how you choose to exercise. There’s no dire need to sign up for a membership at a gym (they are actually kind of pricey), but just remember to stay active daily. You’re living in a completely new city, so the best way you can learn more about it is by exploring! Walking around allows you to burn more calories and take in the beautiful sites of your new city!

Studying abroad will be one of the best experiences in your life. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be sure to have a happy and healthy stay in your host country. Now…go out there and start exploring!

By Chris Kong, Loyola University Maryland, TBC Communications and Social Media Intern and Fall 2015 Student