As you step outside your little nest and decide to fly abroad to do your higher studies, try to develop an open mind. If you think that all you need to prepare yourself for is just academic hard work, then think again! The whole purpose of studying abroad is to experience a new social and cultural lifestyle. This experience could be what you need to develop life-changing skills that would help better both your personal and professional life.
Speak Roman in Roma!
When abroad, it helps to be curious about social aspects such as foreign culture and their people and languages. Embrace the differences that you experience and let the culture shock not affect you too much. Universities generally offer international students English and language classes to help them connect better locally. These maybe helpful in the long run if you decide to stay and make a living abroad; fluency in language is always a big plus anywhere you go. In non- English speaking places, natives are generally appreciative of the fact that you try to speak to them in the local language to communicate with them.
It helps to be socially sensitive and get accustomed to local festivities and social norms. A good way to do this is go for host family accommodation. Many universities have this option to help students get back up on their feet if they get hit by nostalgia. The host family generally provides them with at least two meals in a day and a room and their company in the house whenever needed. It is one of the best ways to mingle with the locals and feel the essence of the place.
Studying doesn’t always have to be a solo activity, you can always form a group and study together on a regular basis if that keeps your studying blues at bay. This seems to work for many as it always helps to hear other students’ ideas and opinions about the subject or learn new techniques to solve those really tough problems you can’t seem to get around. It always helps to have many angles, to have a better point of view. Group study is not just productive but fun as well. Definitely, five friends sitting and discussing a topic together is not the same as studying within the confines of four walls!
Involve Yourself in Uni Activities
Get involved in student clubs and unions at your university with local students. This is one of the best ways to make friends as uni is a great platform for students your age to connect on common interests. Making friends with locals will only aid you in adjusting towards any changes to life, from how it was back home. This will help give you a healthy balance in life where you can study and have other activities included in your schedule that not only help you connect with the university and the place better, but give you a refreshing break from time to time. You must also understand that this should be a perfect balance, for if grades were to slip, you might have to pay when it comes to finding a good job! The mantra is party hard to work harder!
When you left from home you may have initially been a bit shy or not considered yourself that outgoing, but you will find that after a few years of study abroad, your approach to things in life will change drastically. Not only will you be more independent, mature, and adapt better, but also will be more globally sensitive and self relying. Your confidence levels in your abilities will definitely get a boost as surviving and adapting to life in a foreign country is a skill in itself! Surely when you were back home, you did not have to manage your own meals, your finances, or your accommodation; everything would have been taken care of. Now that you have to manage to pay the bills on time, turn in your projects on time, study well, cook for yourself, and find time to socialise, you will definitely feel like you have a better hold on your own life. All this personal development would never be possible if it weren’t for the help of roommates and friendships that will probably last a life time. All these experiences are what will help you learn how to see things from a broader perspective.
A Word of Warning Though…
In the name of having a good time, don’t land yourself in any unpleasant situation. It’s advisable to remember that it’s your academic career that is your main goal and it must not be compromised at any point. It would do you well to learn about the local social norms of the area you are heading to or even about local rules and regulations. As a foreigner, you must value the local beliefs and values and abide by the law at all times. After all, what could happen to your dreams and your career if you were to get into some legal hassle or such? It would prove to be a big black mark, so be aware of your surroundings and the people. If there are any safety issues with the local region, make sure you take full precaution to avert any mishaps.
All that being said, socialising abroad is bound to prove to be useful not just for networking for better job prospects, but also for your own happiness! Don’t you agree that we all need to share our study experience with friends to make it a complete one? If you planned to moe to UK, then dont miss to check how to stay safe in UK ?
Image source : theglobeandmail.com