Studying abroad unlike studying in your own city comes with a totally unique set of challenges. A new country, new culture, completely different climate, no friends, or shelter of your family; and the requirement to start life afresh. This is a daunting challenge that thousands of students from around the world take up every year, when the fly out to their chosen country and university abroad. On top of all this the pressure to excel and perform really well in your studies always remains at the back of your head. This article looks at various steps that you can adopt to handle the pressure of studying abroad.
The key point is to remain focused on your goals. Your goals may vary. You may wish to stay back and progress into research, or get a job abroad and apply for a work-permit followed by residency, or you may wish to complete your studies and return to India to set up your own business; whatever be your goal; do not lose focus!
Well not the sitcom that’s still running on syndicated television, but real friends. Make an effort to meet fellow students and make friends. You are going to be spending your time with them for the course of your programme. Everyone needs friends and it is good to have like-minded people with you.
All universities have student clubs that cater to various hobbies ranging from film and music to photography and sports. Join a student club that suits your tastes and participate in the events that they organise. It is a good diversion from the high-pressure academic assignments that you would be constantly required to work on. Note leading universities have their own Indian Students Association or Asian Students Association. You can join them and participate in a wide variety of programmes that range from celebrating festivals and holding traditional dinners.
Yes, it works! You don’t have to adorn ochre or saffron robes or invest in insanely priced yoga kits. Gentle rhythmic breathing or ‘pranayama’ is the first step. There are lots of good books, enough videos by qualified yoga experts, plus university gymnasiums have yoga trainers who can guide you. Do yourself a favour, start practicing yoga every day.
In the times of Skype and video-chats, you are never truly completely away from family and friends back home. Now WhatsApp is the finest and simplest messaging tool on offer. Keep in touch with family and friends, they know you best and care for you.
All leading universities have psychological counselling teams that have certified psychologists and advisors to counsel students with depression and stress-related issues. If you have even the slightest doubt that you are falling into a ‘depression trap’; seek professional help immediately.
Well this works for a lot of people. In fact some of the most successful people in life swear by this simple task of maintaining a diary. Jot down what you want to do every morning. At night, before you go to sleep, take a look and see what you have managed to do. Plan your next day accordingly; this brings a sense of satisfaction, order and punctuality. If you wish you could blog about your experiences as a student abroad as well and if your blog is good, you can earn money from it as well.
Do you have any tips or suggestions that you would like to add to help students abroad handle academic pressure? If yes, please add them in the comments section below.
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