Make no mistake about it, being in a foreign land can be quite a daunting experience. There’s a reason why, when people are out on a vacation, tourist guides are there to help make sense of everything that might be new to them. There are tools readily available, like translation mobile apps or maps, to help one throughout the day.
While this scenario may prove leisurely—adventurous, even—for vacationers, it is a whole different situation for international students. Not only are they experiencing an entirely different place the moment they step out of the airport, but they also have to communicate, interact, and engage with different people of different cultures and societal backgrounds on campus.
International students are a different breed. More often than not, these students carry with them that competitive drive to excel. Leaving their hometowns is surely not an easy thing to accomplish, nor is staying in a foreign country for months or even years for some!
However, for these international students, taking on the challenge of studying abroad is worth all the expenses and hard work. All of them know that all will be worth it.
After completing their courses, these “global students” carry with them not only a ton of academic knowledge but loads of social experience as well. Simply put, when people choose to study abroad, they set themselves on a path of greater, holistic transformation.
For students who are still thinking about whether or not to study abroad, or international students who are new to their campuses and looking for ways to settle comfortably, here are some basic tips you should know.
For some international students, this might be their first time living independently away from their families. Learning how to live independently is one of the best things international students can experience themselves when they study abroad. Immediately, one is heaved into a kiln of responsibility where he or she comes out a better, more responsible person.
Studies first, socials later
While the lure of a bright, new life away from home may be tempting at first, always go back to the reason why you’ve chosen to sacrifice the comforts of home to study abroad. Set up your study in your room, and always be attentive to announcements regarding school matters. You’re allowed to have fun, just not at the expense of your grades.
Learn and abide by the laws and customs of your host country
Just like being a guest in another household, it is very important to mind one’s manners. However, comparing house rules to the laws and customs of the land while they study abroad is highly inaccurate.
Customs are rooted deep in years of tradition, and locals most probably hold these customs with utmost respect. Laws, on the other hand, might vary a little from country to country. Never assume. Be polite. International students should take the time to learn more about a country’s laws and customs.
Connect with other international students
This here is more than just making new friends. For international students, networking is one often forgotten but crucial undertaking they must go through. Be it during class hours or in a social activity, one must make use of the opportunity to expand his or her network globally.
After a few years of study abroad, these acquaintances may prove to be important after all, whether for work, business, or leisure.
Stay safe, secure, and in great shape
This adage remains true whether one is at home or away from home: health is wealth. Take care of yourself. Hydrate. Exercise. Eat well. Get enough sleep.
Also, while a good number of international students are young (and therefore, are presumed to be more carefree), it’s still vital to secure insurance that would cover for one’s emergency medical needs.
Lastly, keep safe and stay away from political demonstrations, illegal activity, or associating with questionable personalities.
For people who choose to study abroad, it’s best to be prepared but never to rush. Take it slow and steady. Enjoy the immersion. Flip through our articles here on MSM Unify to help you visualize what life is like abroad and how studying overseas can benefit you.