Student life abroad is both exciting and intimidating. Differences in language, food, social customs and culture should be opportunities for growth as well as confusions initially. It is important that you have realistic expectations. Studying abroad will give you ups and downs and you also get new and great experiences which is one of the reasons that everyone decides to study abroad.
Expect to experience culture shock when you study abroad. You will be encountering so much that is new and different. Culture shock is the stress caused by the fact that you find yourself in a new environment far away from home. The reaction is natural for people when they find themselves in a new cultural environment.
You might experience both physical and psychological reactions like anxiety, excessive aggressiveness, trouble breathing, headache and other symptoms. You could feel homesick. There will also be things you miss from home.
Talk to other students and get involved with student life abroad, either at the university or in the community. Try new things and ask plenty of questions. You’ll probably want to travel to nearby cities and sites on the weekends. Establish a network with other international students. They will understand you when you are frustrated about your new country and they have a special understanding of such things you find difficult.
Keep a diary
Keeping a diary can be a good way to deal with the experiences and frustrations of your new life. After a few weeks or months it can be quiet interesting to read your first entries
Live on your own
It’s very common for people in Western societies to live alone, but students from India who moves to a new country, oblivious to the ways and customs of living on their own, things do not always come easily. From cooking your own meals to cleaning the house, staying on top of studies while finding part-time work and budgeting – you will get to grips with all these aspects. Gradually, when you do start taking care of everything, your life becomes more organized and disciplined.
Learn to respect diversity
International students have the opportunity to find friends and colleagues from a wide range of ethnic and social backgrounds. So, you not only learn more about new cultures, but you also start to really respect diversity. The true value of diversity can only be understood when you and people from other countries and cultures are present in one community. It also develops a strong international network, which will definitely come handy in the later stage of your career.
You will get new perspectives and think big
You would have heard a lot of things about every country, culture and religion, ut never come close to experiencing most of them. You start seeing the world from a different perspective, and that can only happen when you are exposed to new experiences.
You start thinking out of your comfort zone. Studying abroad means breaking all the shackles, as you will be experiencing challenges never imagined before. Once you’ve decided to jump in, you feel compelled to see it through. And in doing so, when you meet and overcome many small and large challenges, you develop a strange sort of confidence. This is really important to boost your future chances in the job market, and at the same time this confidence allows you to think big.
No matter how long you have prepared for student life abroad, you will have at least some difficulties adjusting to the culture of a new country. Part of the fun is overcoming these challenges and surrounding yourself with new ideas and new ways of life.