Top 5 Tips - Living Abroad

by Sam Berry on Mar 29 2019
Hi, my name is Sam Berry and I’m an L3 Airline Academy graduate. As part of my training I spent 8 months living at L3’s dedicated cadet accommodation centre Clearways, in Hamilton on the North Island of New Zealand. It was my first time living away from home and my first time living in another country. These are my top 5 tips that I’d give to anyone thinking about travelling to a foreign country for their pilot training.

1) Make new friends
I was in a very fortunate position where everyone I was living with had some common ground, we shared the same career goal and a real interest in aviation, which really helped as an ice-breaker. The L3 Airline Academy accommodation is an excellent social environment, not dissimilar from university halls, and social events like barbecues and quizzes were regular. These made it very easy to find people with whom you had shared interests.
2) Go explore
Make the most of your time in your temporary home. There’s a huge amount of enjoyment to be found in just jumping in the car with some music on and the windows down (especially when it was 30°C in December!) and seeing where you end up. Driving to Tauranga and seeing the sun set from the top of Mount Maunganui over one of the world’s most easterly cities will be a sight that will stay with me forever.
3) Step out of your comfort zone
Do something you’ve never done before! There were so many activities within a driving distance from Hamilton that you couldn’t do anywhere else in the world. These will shape you and change you as a person and create some unforgettable memories. We were regular visitors to the Skyline in Rotorua, a network of toboggan tracks descending a volcanic mountainside overlooking the beautiful Lake Rotorua.
4) Don’t lose touch with home
Bring some creature comforts with you. A few family photos, your favourite mug, some music you like. There were some days when the 12 hour time difference and the 11,000 miles separating me and my loved ones got to me. But with a little coordination and the wonder of modern social media, it wasn’t difficult to keep daily contact with the people closest to me.
5) Never be afraid to ask for help
No matter what anyone says, it’s not easy spending that amount of time away from home. You have a hugely valuable support network to be found in your peers, who no doubt will all have been feeling homesick at some point. L3 Airline Academy also give you access to a free, totally confidential, 24 hour mental health support service. Self care is important too, there is absolutely no shame in taking an easy day to offload some mental stress doing something you enjoy.