Surviving Ramadan in a foreign country
Living abroad as a student during Ramadan can be a lonely experience. You don’t get to ‘buka puasa’ with your beloved ones and you end up missing families even more. But, spending Ramadan overseas can be a fun experience too if you follow these tips.
Find a Muslim student association
Your university should have a Muslim student association. Even if there isn’t one, check out other colleges or universities nearby. Find out from friends and speak to your student advisors – they may be able to help.
Check out forums
Google for student networks who are fasting. Don’t be shy to ask if you can join them. Many of them are probably in the same shoes as you and they’d be more than happy to have someone new in the group.
Ask your cafeteria manager if you could arrange for packed meals every day that can be used towards suhoor. Gather a couple of friends who are interested to show many of you have similar concerns.
Mingle with other fasting Muslims – if there’s a time to make new friends, it’s now! Arrange for upcoming iftars together. You’ll surprisingly find that these new friends can fill the longing you have for your family.
If you’re craving for some authentic Ayam Masak Merah or Tomato Rice, forget about hunting down restaurants. Cook them with your friends. It’ll be a fun experience going to the market, searching for all these spices and preparing the meal together. You can even try baking kuih muih and cookies. Who knows, if you’re good at it, you might even be able to earn some side income!
A time to understand Islam
During this period, Muslims feel the urge to come closer to understand the teachings of Islam. Why not hold a Quran session with a group of friends? Or even go to a mosque for tarawih together? You can even watch DVD’s of Islamic history and documentary about Muslims to strengthen your beliefs. Approach these in a creative way.
It’s the answer to breaking your fast together with family. Coordinate over the phone or Skype. You’ll be able to see all your family members together and although you won’t be there physically, this is the closest you could get.
Want to find a scholarship abroad or locally?
Don't forget to download your free prospectus. It's everything you need to know from choosing a course to finance.
An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.