Going abroad to study is an exciting and challenging prospect all at once. You’ll get to travel to a new country, take in a totally unique culture, and learn more than you’d ever learned before. When you move abroad, you’ll face many different challenges that will make things difficult for you.
If you know how to face them though, you can tackle them and make the most of your time away. Here are some of the most common challenges you’ll face, and how to cope with them.
This is something probably every student will experience at some point when they move away. “It’s very hard to move to a different country. You’re on your own, you probably don’t speak the language as well as you’d like, and it can be a huge culture shock” says educator Gerald Burton from Best Australian Writers.
When homesickness strikes, all you’ll want to do is pack your bags and make your way back home. To combat this, make sure that you have good communication channels set up before you leave. Try using video chat, such as Skype, to talk to your family and friends back home so you feel connected. As well as this, get out there and take in as much of your new home as possible.
This is another issue that many students come across when they move abroad. They’re in a new country, on their own, and they realise they can’t speak the language. Sometimes it can be nerves if it’s the first time you’ve gone into a coffee shop and ordered a coffee in your new language. Sometimes, though, some students find that they aren’t as prepared as they thought they were.
“I found it much easier when I moved to France to study, as I’d taken classes before I went,” says student Jennifer Anderson from Top Canadian Writers. “Making sure I good base level understanding made picking up the language much easier once I was there.” Do your preparation before you leave, and ensure that you can converse in the language of your chosen country. You may not be fluent when you get there, but you certainly will be when you leave.
Finances are a big issue for any student. When you’re studying abroad, you’ve got to keep a grip on them. No matter how well you budget though, sometimes you’ll have less cash than you thought you did, and it can make things difficult.
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this when you’re abroad. Firstly, save some cash before you go away, and give it to a trusted family member or friend. If you find yourself in trouble when you’re away, you can ask them to transfer that money to you. Also, look into whether you can take on a job in your host country.
Studying In A Foreign Language
The biggest part of student life will be studying. When you’re in a foreign country, of course, that means you’ll be studying in that language. Even if you have a good grasp of it, it can be hard going. You’re working twice as hard as everyone else, as you’re having to translate the work you’re doing before you can even do the assignment.
The best way to deal with this is to get help with your assignments. Your college or university should have a support centre for foreign students, so work with them if you can. As well as this, use online services that are designed to help you get to grips with your assignments. UK Services Reviews and the State Of Writing are two such services you should take advantage of.
Feeling Like An Outsider
It’s easy to feel alone in a new country. You have no knowledge of the local culture, you may not look like anyone else, and you may not have total command of the language. When this happens, it can feel like you’re a total outsider.
To combat this, try and make friends with someone who’s local to the area. Even a dorm mate that’s from that country can help you out a lot. Try and immerse yourself in the culture, and read up on it before you go. Knowledge is power, and if you know what’s expected of you, it can help you feel much more involved.
Look For Help Online
There’s lots of help online if you’re facing any of the issues here. Communities come together online, and there are lots of tools that can help you. The Huffington Post even has a list of tools and services you can use when you need some extra help. These include Grammarix, a useful blog for students.
If you’re dealing with any of these issues, use the advice here to help you solve them. Enjoy your time abroad!
Rachel Summers has worked with students to help them excel in their studies. She’s done this through several different outlets, including UK Top Writers. Her writing is informed by her work with students, so she writes to improve students lives both in and out of the classroom. Read more about her work here.