Adjusting to new food on your study abroad programme:


Food is a big part of everyday life, so when you move abroad you may quickly realise how important it is to your emotional and physical well-being.

Some may adjust more easily to the new food than others, but for those who don’t, here are some tips on how to make the adjusting process a little smoother as well as making the most of the new experiences!


two people eating
No pressure!
  • Remember that you don’t have to eat something that you don’t want to. There is no pressure to bite into a juicy steak if you are a committed vegetarian, but it might mean trying a new vegetarian dish that you haven’t before.
  • Being respectful is very important when being served new food. Reverse the roles, if you presented your favourite dish to someone and they turned their nose up at it, you would be upset. Make sure you are considerate of your host family’s feelings when reacting to new food choices. It’s okay to say no, but be gracious and polite about it.
Ask questions
  • If you’re not sure what something is, then ask away! There is no embarrassment in wanting to know what it is you’re eating if it’s a food you don’t recognise. How else are you going to fully immerse yourself in the new foods and cultures if you don’t know what they are?
Expand your horizons
  • Try new things! Studying abroad is all about getting out of your comfort zone and gaining new experiences and food is a bit part of this. Don’t stick with the normal food you eat if you can find it, discover all the wonderful foods your new country has to offer. Doesn’t matter if you don’t like them, but you should always be open minded to trying new things.
Culinary changes
  • Be aware to the differences in etiquette around food. You may find yourself eating at different times of the day, different portion sizes for different meals or even alternatives for cutlery. Don’t worry, both you and your taste buds will adapt!


food on table




Although it is important to push yourself and try new things, if you choose to study with HSI in either the UK or Ireland, you will find that they are both very multi-cultural countries and so when you do need a little taste of home, you will almost certainly find foods which are familiar and comforting.

Check out HSI student Juliana’s experience with food and her host family here.

For more Study Abroad Tips click here.