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Tips for staying safe while studying abroad

Studies have always been on a serious note especially to us Indians. We do not take it lightly. The more educated you are, you are considered more knowledgeable.

Caution on Foreign land

The popular adage - ‘when in Rome, act like a Roman’ holds true even today. It is important to respect the local code of conduct, culture, dress code and sentiments when living abroad.

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Studies have always been on a serious note especially to us Indians. We do not take it lightly. The more educated you are, you are considered more knowledgeable. Knowledge can be gained in various ways and not just education. So let us leave the debate and serious stuff aside and see the other aspects of travelling abroad and the myths that surround it.

When a student boards the flight to a foreign land the initial excitement is more about going to a new place and being on your own than the education itself. Soon reality will hit you hard as studying abroad is no vacation. It is not as easy as we see in movies, students walking up and down corridors more than sitting in class. You will have to deal with assignments, assessments and projects. An occasional trip can be enjoyed but definitely projects will be awaiting you on your arrival.

The proverb, “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, holds good even in today’s world. It is important to understand and respect the local culture and their sentiments. If there is a dress code or a way of dressing that they follow try to adhere to it without giving up your individuality. It is a thumb rule that you cannot criticize the local politics and way of life as it is you who is a visitor in their land and it is not polite to call the shots.

It is true that all of us will tend to love our home country more than our host country. You will enjoy your stay in your new land if your expectations are not too high as it is then that disappointment sets in which can even result in feeling of home sickness. So understand the place and love it as it is and you will leave it with cherished memories.

The last but not the least is food. The food in foreign land will be different from the one you are used to, so take your time and give your body time to adjust to the local cuisine instead of rushing it in a hurry.

Safety Tips

The mere thought of going abroad to study further brings on a barrage of doubts and fears. Even though the desire over-rides them all, it is still a big move, going to a foreign land and surviving out there for a few years, if not longer.

We have been hearing reports about our students being attacked and killed in the UK. The count seems to have gone up the past academic year. It is still a mystery as to what triggered the attack and why so many Indians have been targeted in such a short span of time. While we ponder on the causes we can take some steps and precautions and try avoiding being the target to bullies. We have to learn to assimilate with the society we live in. We should not portray ourselves as soft targets.

Confidence can be considered your best friend in a foreign land as then you will not be viewed as a soft target. It is mostly the foreigners who get mugged. Ignorance is a virtue when you are marching ahead. It is just common for people to try to make you feel small as they themselves don’t feel good about themselves. So if anyone tries to pick a fight with you or get on your nerves ignore and walk ahead as it will be worth more than you might realize at that point of time. Otto Von Bismarck once told that even while one declares war one should be polite. So remember to be polite and respect the local culture. It is good to sprinkle your conversation with “Please” and “Thank you”, will reap you rich dividends.

Nightlife can be inviting but beware to step out late if you are aware that the crime rate is high in the city you are living in. It is important to learn the local routes and various safe routes to and from the places you frequent. It is also good idea to ask some known local to escort you if you think it is late. Money can be your friend and enemy, try withdrawing cash during day time as the chances of you getting mugged is more. Beware not to hop into a stranger’s care no matter what the situation is, as you might end up getting yourself into trouble. As soon as you land in a foreign country get in touch with the Indian community and make friends as it they will definitely be a friend indeed. Remember to stay with a crowd and don’t try to be singled out as you will become a better target.

A coin always has twin sides and so does every country. It is important to enjoy the good things and leave the bitter experiences behind. These are just some tips that will help you to enjoy your stay and study in your host land and return to your homeland with experience and knowledge that will help you all through your life.

These are just some tips that will help you to enjoy your stay and study in your host land and return to your homeland with experience and knowledge that will help you all through your life.

Image Credit: dan

Are you anxious about living in a new city?

Priyanka G Priyanka G,
Study abroad expert.
We offer pre-departure counselling to help you prepare for your life abroad. Request a call back or call us now on 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) for guidance.