Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Here’s How You Can Survive When Studying Abroad
Several candidates choose to pursue their post graduate studies for a number of reasons; to broaden their knowledge in a particular subject area or to gain an advantage in their careers.
Studying far away from your family and friends can be daunting, especially if you're in an unfamiliar environment. While it's natural to miss home, there's no reason to let homesickness ruin your study abroad experience. It’s important to realize that you're moving there for a small period of time. Be prepared for the fact that you're going for a new experience and you're going to meet a lot of new people, make a lot of new friends and it will be a good experience- be optimistic!
Make sure you keep yourself busy, because the busier you are, the less you think about being homesick, and also surround yourself with good people. Make friends and spend time with them; it will make you feel better, know that you are not by yourself. Try to keep contact with friends and family. Technology works its magic – Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, you name it. Keeping in contact will help you through with anything that reminds you of home and things you hold dear will also help you feel at ease at your new place.
Remember, if homesickness becomes a real problem, your institution’s student support services are always there to help, and universities are experienced in helping new students settle in.
The experience of culture shock can exacerbate homesickness, especially if the culture and customs of your study destination are dramatically different from everything you were used to back home, The initial stage' of excitement can fade into a period of feeling disorientated and lost. If this happens, don’t panic- it's a normal phase to go through and you will come out of it stronger than ever.
One way to limit the impact of culture shock is to find out as much as you can about your study destination beforehand, so there are fewer surprises when you arrive. You should also strongly consider making an effort to learn the basics of the local language, even if you're studying in English, as it will help you settle in and feel more confident. Getting involved in societies, clubs and activities can also help you get settled. It is also a great way to connect with people that understand what you're going through.
Making new friends while settling into a new country can be intimidating, but it's important to remember that you and the other new international students are all in the same situation, and studying abroad gives you the opportunity to meet people form different backgrounds and cultures. Be open and socialize, let people get to know you, share with them a bit of your 'home' and let them do the same, embrace difference and let this new experience be part of who you are.
Stress and Mental Health
It’s important to be aware of your mental wellbeing, as it's almost inevitable that stress will knock at your door at some point. Stress can be related to the factors already mentioned here- homesickness, culture shock or anxieties about making new friends- can also likely to stem from the pressures of challenging coursework, deadlines and exams.
Students who've been through this kind of stress highlight the importance of taking time to make a clear plan and set achievable targets. Choose one hobby to escape into.
Also, try and stay in touch with your family; just a few minutes of conversation can leave you feeling more relaxed and energized, ready to get going again.
If you're overwhelmed, do ask for help. Speak to university support staff and explain your difficulties to them, and see what they recommend. Simply realising that your experience is shared by others will help, if you are encountering more serious mental health issues, your university should be able to offer appropriate support such as counseling or a medical referral.
Getting a good night's sleep will keep you functioning at your best. A lack of sleep doesn't just cause tiredness, but will also exacerbate any stress you're experiencing, and undermine your concentration powers. Likewise, keeping fit has huge benefits for physical health and mental wellbeing, and is a great way of meeting others and boosting your self-esteem. You might want to join some student sports clubs or find a buddy to go jogging, cycling with. You’ll can even go to the gym together, for that extra motivation.
Try not to have too much junk food. People think that eating healthy is expensive, but it depends on what you get and where you go. Make up your own recipes, or look it up on blogs, you can even ask your parents.
Safety is another issue to consider before travelling to study abroad- and it's likely to be a discussion your parents will want to talk about as well. On staying safe, Jess advises: “Get to know your surroundings, any points of contact, and if you're out late by yourself maybe let someone know where you're going and when you should be back.”
Make sure you're staying within the bounds of what you’re comfortable with. It helps to have a bit of network when you get there, because then you'll have people to talk to when something comes up. Make sure your valuables are hidden and don't carry around a lot of cash.”
We at Edwise streamline and personalize the process for each student irrespective of the destination, institution, course or any level of study. Our team of experienced professionals will provide you individual attention and exceptional guidance throughout your process of application. We provide assistance related to course selections, admission, visa, bank-loan and scholarships. We also host University delegates for direct student interaction and all these services are provided free of cost. We have established since 1991 and have been maintaining strong networks with over 575 universities in 16 countries, hence giving us a unique insight into the finest educational establishments worldwide.
Start your education overseas with valuable information on everything you need to know about studying abroad from study permits, temporary resident visas and how much it costs, to finding a program.
Do visit your nearest Edwise branch & choose your university carefully under our expert guidance and ensure that you have all your paperwork in order. Once you apply, and the wait is over, you can really begin to look forward to not only studying in a beautiful and vibrant country, but also to a life experience quite like no other.