Study abroad tips: How to prepare yourself for a new study environment?
Moving to a foreign land to further your studies is not as easy as it sounds. As soon as the excitement of finally being able to be away from home disappears, the second thing on your to-do-list is to adapt – but how?
1.Prepare before hand
Fill yourself in with details of the new place which you will be studying and staying at. Study the place, and find out places which are nearby to your staying and studying area. For example: restaurants, convenience stores, police stations, clinics, grocery stores…etc.
By doing so, you will be able to leave behind things that can be bought at your new staying place and avoid bringing a whole house worth of goods.
Most of the time, the reason why people find it hard to adapt to a new environment is because they have experienced a series of culture shocks. People’s mindsets and behaviors are different from what they had expected, and they can’t seem to accept certain cultural practices.
The way to avoid this unpleasant experience is for you to do a brief research about the culture of the people in the new place. This will help you manage your expectations and avoid disappointments and culture shocks.
3.Stay in touch
It’s never easy to be away from home – what more when it is for a few years. Stay in touch with your loved ones at home through social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), phone calls, emails, post…etc. This will ease your homesickness. You will be surprised how much difference a phone call can make.
However, be careful not to make this your daily activity. Do it weekly in your first couple of months, but monthly after you have settled down and adapted to your new study life. This is because when you are overly dependent on your loved ones back home, what you are really doing is that you are resisting change and adapting becomes even harder.
Don’t confine yourself to just your sleeping room and classroom. Go checkout famous tourist attractions, nice places to visit, and go be a tourist for a day with your group of friends. Visiting new places will help you embrace change in a better way. You will begin to recognize the people’s lifestyles and slowly find yourself adapting to it.
5.Get to work
One of the most effective ways to adapt to a new study environment is to get going! Once you have settled down in your accommodation, it’s time for you to get ready for class. Draw out your timetable and pin it on somewhere which is most visible to your eyes so that you will be constantly reminded that you have things to do. This will eliminate any sense of loneliness and homesickness, and it gets the ball rolling. Prepare yourself for a new semester, a new season in your student life, and a new season to make new friends.
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