Studying abroad is a new opportunity and an incredible experience, but at the same time it is living in unusual conditions, away from family and friends. Adapting takes some time. Here are some tips to make this process go faster and easier.
1. Do not be discouraged
At first, you may be homesick. It is a normal reaction to new living conditions (weather, food, language) – don’t be discouraged. Most students who come to study abroad have experienced a moment when they gave up, they wanted to drop everything and go back. You just need to wait and always be busy – after a while, that feeling will pass. It is important not to be afraid to ask for help, make new friends, and remember that any difficulties are temporary.
2. Communicate more often
Of course, everyone has different needs when it comes to friendships, however, even if you are an introvert, try not to isolate yourself. Universities often organize a reception party (meeting party) where newly arrived students can meet. In the universities there are clubs for foreign students, there the international students meet, discuss different topics, talk about the culture and traditions of their countries. In addition, in the university there are generally compatriots associations, but it is not advisable to make friends only with your compatriots, it is better to have friends from different countries, it is one of the advantages of studying in an international environment.
3. Ask for support from the volunteer organization
Most universities have voluntary organizations and a department for cultural and social adaptation. Your task is to provide newcomers with multilateral support: meet foreign students at the airport or train station, show them the campus and the city, help them to stay in the residence, settle in and solve everyday problems. For the students, adaptation activities are carried out: they are given instructions, they tell them how the student’s life is organized, where they can exchange money, buy products, eat, how to get to campus and others. Volunteers also support foreigners in the study process, you can always address them with any questions, consult or ask for help.
4. Study the language and culture of the study destination
Frequently, foreign students admit that for them one of the main difficulties is the lack of knowledge of the foreign language. They couldn’t explain themselves, people didn’t always understand them. This problem exists, more than anything, in small towns, in big cities. Either way, it will be helpful to learn the basics of the foreign language, even if you came to study in the English language program. Some basic phrases can be learned in advance, it will be easier. Likewise, foreign students often take English courses at the university, in some universities they teach special adaptation courses for beginners, they tell them about the peculiarities of local culture and mentality, they teach them simple phrases in the local language so that they can communicate in the daily life. The important thing is not to be ashamed to speak and practice more and more. Of course you will make mistakes, but it is normal, nobody will disapprove you, on the contrary, they will be happy because you try to learn the language.
5. Visit interesting activities
Before studying abroad, students are strongly recommended to learn more about the city where your university is located, see what is interesting there, what are the places of interest. In your free time, go on excursions, visit museums. Generally, in any city there are many events accessible to students, often free. Information about them can be found on the internet. In your spare time, on weekends and on vacations, you can travel.
6. Enroll in courses, communities
Student life in foreign universities is usually so intense that there is simply no time to be bored. Various clubs of interest to everyone: from cinema and foreign languages to chess and hiking. You can get to know the things, activities,etc. that you have never heard.
7. Maintain communication with your family
Communicating with family members helps you feel supported and more comfortable. Therefore, regularly call home or your friends, it is important especially the first time, as long as you do not have new friends. In many countries, Internet is available now, so there will be no problems with communication. Frequently, free Wi-Fi is available in educational buildings and residences have a specially assigned line. However, it is not recommended to talk a long time with family members, take a certain time for this, try to spend most of the day totally immersed in the new environment and make the most of the opportunities that study in another country offers you.
These are the advice for international students to adapt in another country. Or, you can say they are some study abroad tips. These tips can help you to adapt another country and your study abroad life more quickly and easily, meanwhile make your experience more unique and meaningful. If you want to know more information about studying abroad, you can go to CatEight.