Challenges International Students Face while Studying Abroad.
Studying abroad is a very exciting experience that gives young people plenty of amazing opportunities. However, it is not without its share of challenges. Traveling to a foreign land where you know absolutely nobody and where the native language is probably different from your own can raise many issues. There are certain challenges that you must overcome in order to reap the benefits of studying abroad. Here are some of the challenges you may encounter.
Being away from family and friends for months can be a real problem for some students, especially those who are deeply rooted in their native environment or are not used to traveling alone. It’s perfectly normal to miss your home, but there are things you can do to adjust to your current situation.
For starters, you can try to keep yourself busy. It’s easier to get homesick when there’s nothing to do but sit around and think. You can make new friends and hang out with your new university buddies. In your spare time, you can explore the city, watch local movies, and even go to the gym when you are out of class. These activities will keep you busy and prevent you from feeling homesick while allowing you to make the most of your international experience.
These days, it’s much easier to deal with homesickness because of technology. Even if you are far away from your family and friends, you have internet access to keep in touch with them and let them know what’s going on with you. Social media can be very beneficial for international students to stay connected.
When the people around you speak a different language, you can easily feel isolated, not to mention the fact that communication can be very difficult. Of course, it would be great to know in advance when this is going to happen so that you could prepare yourself better. It’s a good idea to take a crash course in the local language, buy useful translation books to take with you or download applications that can help you to communicate in everyday situations.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that people are very accommodating of foreign students who do not speak the local language. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable if you can’t speak the language well, especially in the beginning. Never mind if you make mistakes. Just jump in and talk to people. The more you speak, the faster you will learn and the faster you will be able to cross the language barrier.
There are so many different cultures around the world. Some practices that are perfectly acceptable at home may not be tolerable in the destination country. In order to avoid embarrassing situations, it is advisable to learn as much as possible about the culture of the country you are entering before you actually go there.
With all the differences between cultures, it really is impossible to completely avoid cultural misunderstandings. However, you can deal with them properly by simply practicing good manners and avoiding conflicts. With good communication, these misunderstandings can actually turn into a learning experience for everyone involved.
As part of your research about your destination country, you will likely read about the weather that they usually have. But reading about the weather is very different from actually living in it. With these climate uncertainties, it can be tricky to figure out what kind of clothes to bring.
If the climate is extreme and very different from what you are used to, it is even more challenging to survive in it once you are there. If you come from a tropical country, it is hard to imagine what minus 20 degrees Celsius feels like. Or, if you are used to a very cold climate, studying in Australia or California may require a lot of physical changes to your body. Of course, you will get used to it over time, but you need to make sure you have the appropriate clothing and protective gear to keep you safe and comfortable.
There may be times when these challenges become too overwhelming and bring you to the point where you just want to give up and go home without getting the degree you chose. When such situations come your way, it is very helpful to remember that you are not alone and that these are challenges faced by international students everywhere. It’s normal to feel pressured, but you should rise to the occasion and keep working towards your goal as it will all be worth it in the long run.