You have been waiting for that BIIIGGG day in your life! Finally it has arrived. Your dream journey will soon begin, and you will get acquainted with new people from diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. Going abroad could be either easy or rough for a few; the point is how hard you work to get it done! Things can get really challenging once you land in the foreign country so be prepared, and cast away all your premonitions. Be smart and optimistic about your career abroad, and nothing can come your way!
Once you acquire the skills, or at least know how, to deal with the ‘five things’ discussed here, you will learn what we are trying to tell you:
A desert is a place without expectation!
No, we are not asking you to not expect; please do, but DO NOT overdo! It is always good to think and plan beforehand, but do not over-think and over-plan. Different countries will have different set of academic challenges, and you may find it hard to cope with them once you start your course. You may find yourself lost in a desert, where you are expected to find your own source of water and shelter. The whole package full of surprises does not come during the orientation; but it is good that you will be aware now!
Considering the differences between college- and university-level educations, many faculties expect students to know everything about their degree programmes, while some start from the basics.
Exam patterns differ too: some countries may have multiple assessments, apart from the final exam, at universities and colleges, while some may rely only on the final exam. For example, in the UK majority of students experience more theoretical-based curricula, where they are let on their own to handle every project and are taught to be independent thinkers, whereas in the US the scenario is different where students are exposed to research-based curricula, with more focus on professional-oriented programmes.
In countries like Australia and New Zealand, it is mandatory to attend regular seminars and lectures, failing which students are not allowed to sit for the final exam; again this depends from faculty-to-faculty. In the US, an undergraduate degree can lead to a PhD, but in the UK you need to have a masters before applying for a PhD.
A small leak will sink a big ship!
Study abroad could be an onerous task, especially if you need to think hard about your tuition fees. With rising upheavals in the economy, it is certain that you might face many conundrums. There are many local fund raisers and private banks that offer help to students willing to study abroad. You can also check this link for more information.
The cost of living is going to be way beyond your expectations so, unless you have enough in the bank, you need to discuss with your university about part-time work opportunities. Manage your finances; or at least learn how to! While living abroad you can make sure you do not buy anything beyond your necessities, unless you can afford.
Just remember that your attitude abroad will teach you to be responsible, making you academically and culturally stable.
Shock of culture!
Culture shock – which means the shock you receive from experiencing other cultures. You might welcome it or abstain from it; that is entirely up to you. Different vocabularies; food, living and education styles and communication styles will either bring out the best in you or mar what is inside you. You will have two options: ignore everything and focus on your studies or accept everything and still focus on your studies.
Group study is a great way to know other cultures; you may find it hard at the beginning, but try to get used to it. Try not to feel a loner, and erase all cross-cultural barriers.
If you constantly keep thinking about language as a barrier, it is sure to reflect on your studies and screw everything up. Cultural barriers could be avoided only when you stop considering them as BARRIERS!
Personally I feel culture shock is a misnomer. You are going abroad because you have a mindset to embrace the world, and people and opportunities it has to offer you, so indulging in activities, possibly which might shatter your moral attitudes and beliefs, that are predominant to other cultures is none of your business.
Keep calm and do not miss your home!
We know it is difficult for a daddy’s girl or momma’s boy to stay away from each other. Sometimes it might be difficult to convey your emotions and sentiments to them when you are not at a stone’s throw. It could be really difficult to leave your home and stay abroad, but consider wisely which is more important at that point in time and for your future of course.
Once you acquire a degree, you can always come back to your country and do things that you want – be an entrepreneur or work for the community – because your valuable knowledge abroad is surely going to help you reach there: which only you know about.
A nice way to curb homesickness is to be part of various organisations and clubs that universities have on offer. Trust me you will never find a plethora of engaging activities anywhere in this life.
If you have a problem with the language and in comprehending the lingo, why not carry a dictionary?! We live in a networked world full of resources, apart from depleting natural resources, easily available in a click so why to get worked up over petty stuffs?
Diamonds are created under pressure!
You are going to be a master of words and languages; most importantly you will have a global education degree which you should be PROUD OF. There are various study options abroad that you should explore well – you can have a dual degree or gain a PhD immediately after an undergraduate degree. Overseas education is like increasing your knowledge geometrically.
Devoting years abroad for your studies could be valuable or futile – that depends on your attitude. There are many reasons, including ones above, why it is called ‘study abroad’ programme. It needs an extra effort from students, who need to be honest and dedicated and contribute A LOT to this lifetime opportunity, or else be prepared to be a failure!
We hope you got a glimpse of the possible challenges you might face while studying abroad. Do let us know if this article is helpful!