Studying abroad is exciting yet intimidating. So many new things, people, specifics, traditions, and rules. And sometimes a language barrier too. However, students all around the world are now able to choose where they want to study and what they expect from the study program, picking the best. And here is where our tips and advice come in handy.
Tip 1. Accept the Differences
Surely, being a foreigner comes with lots of unexpected things that you need to deal with every day. But the most intimidating thing sometimes is to actually be a foreigner and face the way people treat you in this role. Many foreign students try very hard to adjust as quickly as possible and camouflage their origins in order to avoid the treatment they sometimes receive. It’s the urge to blend and fit in that might cause you some hard times.
Accepting that you differ from locals means a lot. In case you are okay with that, it’s easy for you to ask as many questions as you need about everything around you and avoid chasing unrealistic goals. It doesn’t mean that you will never be able to become part of this new culture – it just means you are willing to give yourself time to know it better.
The less you are afraid to seem funny or unknowing, the less discomfort you might be facing. And if your pronunciation sounds a little off, just approach it with humor and a light heart. Otherwise, you might feel terrible about everything you unwillingly do wrong, thus ruining your culture experience.
Tip 2. Create a Plan
Whenever you are about to start a challenging task, it’s great to have a plan. The same thing works for studying, especially abroad. You need to make sure that you have a goal and work to achieve it.
A plan that you need to create when you start your study program should provide you with an understanding of how you are going to live and study for the next years. For example, you should know how many credits you need, how to spread your workload and your finances, and how you are going to afford housing, groceries, books, and other things. This is the basis that needs to be acknowledged and thus mentioned in your plan.
If you are about to start working, you need to plan your classes accordingly, and pick them right, as well as make sure you need to have all the necessary documents on hand. As you can see, it takes some brainstorming to create a solid plan as one thing comes from another.
Tip 3. Attend Orientation
Orientation is very informative, especially when it comes to studying abroad. You can learn a lot about the classes, professors, activities, help centers, clubs, and programs. You can learn almost anything you need in there to feel safe and informed while studying.
Orientation is also a great chance to meet other foreign students, with who you can find a lot of things in common and even make friends. It’s much easier to go through challenges when you have someone to talk to and share your feelings with. A lot of colleges and universities create communities for foreign students that help you bond and adjust as well as make sure you are not left outside of the social and active life.
Tip 4. Reach for Help When You Need It
In case you need any help, it’s always advised to reach for it. Whether it’s a special center on campus, or specialists outside your learning institution, especially in case of medical need, you should definitely use your chance.
For example, you should surely search for an opportunity to schedule medical check-ups and doctor visits as your health is your priority. There might be some assistance with that which you can find on campus or you can find medical insurance opportunities provided for foreign students.
You never know how people around you might help you. Psychological help, as well as financial aid or academic advice might come in handy when you really need it. You can also reach out to us and ask for assistance with your studies just like thousands of other foreign students do. Whenever you are afraid you can’t complete a task, or can’t meet the deadline, or there is a language barrier, you should send us your request and we will be glad to help you out.
Tip 5. Start Saving as Early as Possible
Living abroad might become costly. Especially if you are renting an apartment or studying in a big city with higher average prices. In order to feel more or less comfortable with your finances, saving would be a great option for the whole period of time you are staying there as well as the whole time before your trip.
It might be part of your preparation for the adventure – start saving and get the local cards to have a financial cushion in case you need to pay some extra bills. It’s never too late to start saving though, so make sure you know how to put your money to the best use. Try to learn cooking at home and research if there are some good deals for students or interns.