Traveling abroad for educational purposes is an eye-opening experience and an opportunity for growth. You get to meet new people, try new types of food, and get exposed to new forms of art while learning. This wonderful experience, however, comes with a price. The life of a travelling student can be quite challenging. That is, unless you know how to handle and adapt to this new change.
There are several challenges that students face when they decide to study away from home. Nevertheless, overcoming these obstacles will help you become a better person with more experience. Below you’ll find the five most common challenges students face when they first leave home to study abroad.
- Feeling Homesick whilst abroad
This is probably the main problem that students face once they move away from home. They miss their home, their daily habits, the small things like the family lunch or the time spent with friends. Most of all, they miss the people they leave behind, even though they’ll get back to them soon enough.
Missing family and friends is inevitable. You aren’t only moving away from the things you are used to, but also the people. Seeing how most students move alone to a location where they know no one, this feeling can become really strong.
Nevertheless, there are amazing options that can help stay in contact with the people you love. This should help you beat the unbearable feeling of being homesick and help you keep your relationships strong while you are away.
How can you do this?
Schedule a time for contacting the people you love back home. Don’t spend time checking their social media accounts and seeing how they’re managing without you. Instead, talk to them, send pictures, and ask them about how their life is going. Thanks to technology advances, people can now get in touch with family and friends across the world within seconds and free of charge. So basically, you can call home every day and share your experiences with the people you love. They’ll surely cherish this, too.
But, you shouldn’t close yourself to new relationships while trying to hold on to the ones you had back home. No one says you can’t have it both ways. Communicate with your friends and family as often as you can but, at the same time, build a new network of friends and acquaintances where you’re studying. Join clubs or groups where people gather and do stuff that interests you. Hit the local café, club, or restaurant and try meeting up with people your age. This will make it that much easier for you to adjust to the new place, and possibly create lifelong friendships.
- Not Having Enough Money when you are living abroad
Studying abroad enables you to get a degree which will qualify you to land the job opportunity of your dreams. However, it’s probably more expensive because you must handle expenses for accommodation, food, commuting, and everything else.
You can always get a part-time job to support your studies and possibly even cover those student loans. But, there are also ways to handle your money the smart way, something that will come really handy during your student days.
Use a wallet application and keep track of your spending. You should also have some reserve for emergencies. You might need to buy someone a gift or think about ordering an essay or paper from Study Clerk to submit your late assignment on time. Buy only the necessities and cook at home to save money. Ask locals about the best spots for shopping and the ones made for tourists.
- Staying Motivated
Staying motivated is one of the key factors for the success of your educational journey. This is extremely important, especially when you’re abroad and away from family and friends. If you feel like you have lost your motivation, then it’s time for a break.
While working on your education away from home, it’s a good chance to visit local museums, try street food, and meet up with the locals to learn more about your new town. Exploring the city gives you energy so you can stay focused on studying and finishing your assignments.
This is where those new friends come along. Build amazing memories and connect to people in the new location. If you meet someone local, ask them to show you around to keep you motivated.
- Missing Out
Just because you’re new to town, doesn’t mean that you must start and experience everything now. With all the enthusiasm to visit the new spots, make time for rest and sleep. Take it easy because spending time in a new place shouldn’t be so pressuring.
Make plans for the weekend and have the courage to reschedule. You want to make new friends so might be invited to several gatherings or parties at the same time. Don’t try to attend all of them because you won’t have to attend classes or study later on. Make sure that there will be other parties to enjoy later on.
Fun is the best part of the experience but still, your main focus should be the studies. That’s why you came there in the first place, after all.
- Cultural Barriers when you first move abroad
Knowing the language of the place chosen for your studies is an excellent step that will help you understand all about the whereabouts of the new place. Even if you haven’t mastered the language well, you can learn by talking and listening to strangers.
Culture shock happens to everyone, but there’s no reason why you can’t start preparing for the new culture. The Internet is filled with important data, so research a bit before you get there.
It’s more important to get acquainted with the culture and understand how people act and react in certain situations. Some actions might be totally acceptable back home but will get you into serious trouble when you study abroad. Take time to familiarise yourself with the new culture, habits, and traditions.
Ask other students about how people act and how to show respect to local traditions. If you’re really scared of offending someone, explain that you’re a foreigner when you meet them and ask them for tips. Most people will offer help.
Just because you decided to spend time away from home to work on your education, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be away. There are always trips that can take you back home for an emergency or vacation. You’ll also grow more independent and learn more about your skills and how you can manage on your own.