Its transition time now from a high school to university and as many agree this can be a difficulty faced by international students . Moving thousands of miles away from home, to a place where you basically know few people or absolutely nobody can be daunting. But this shall also be a once in a lifetime experience for you.
You shall gain so much culturally living and studying with overseas students from various ethnic backgrounds, also develop a sense of independence that is going to be very instrumental in your University life in a new country. So that this experience is as joyous and memorable as you would like, and to lessen international student’s problems, here are a few useful tips to guide you.
Research before you land up!
Google here will be your best aid. Google has street views of most countries. Do your own quick research about the University, it’s location and facilities around, since not everything can be literally packed and taken by an international student. Requirements which are basic in nature can be planned in advance, and it will help you to be informed about where the pharmacy, convenience stores, banks etc are located.
Make Friends from Around The Globe!
A new place with no one you know can be quite lonely initially. This is why it is crucial that you socialise and are forthcoming, making it easier to make friends. At their University most international students shall find a lot of social mixers bringing together international and home students – like Fresher’s week and society parties. We suggest you attend as many as you can. As much as you would like to engage with other students from your home country, remember this is an experience to help you get outside of your comfort zone so do not restrict yourself.
Join A Group or Society Or Team Sports
Once at University it’s always important to get involved in group-activities. Meeting more people will increase your chances of finding people with similar interests and who shall become instrumental in making your University life memorable. So we say join all groups, societies that you can relate to or even group sports.
Take Time to Explore Your Surroundings.
Everything will be new for you. Even if you have been to the city before as a tourist, you might still be facing issues as an international student and may find it is very different to live in. Walk more, this will help you in finding out the places hidden away in corners and also help you familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
Take a piece of home with you.
Lets agree the best way to settle in a new place is take a piece of your home with you. Small reminders will do the trick. Carry pictures to put on the walls, your favourite pillow or stuff toy or personalize your student room so that you feel home each night when you come back from University.
Adventures await- Leave your bubble behind.
Leaving your bubble is scary and we understand. But in your first year at University try to explore as much as you can, and try different and new things. This will help you in realising so many new things you didn’t know you liked. International students have also been seen to bond over activities that they take together and have never done before. Take our word it is important. First semester is usually a little relaxed as students are still getting to know their way around so use this time well.
Set A Routine!
In any environment having a routine is a good idea. It helps you in maintaining a balance and having work done in time. This way you shall save yourself from having last minute panic attacks during submissions, exams and this will also give you time to have everything sorted should something go wrong. Being in a new place is a struggle that many international students face and can easily stress you out. Also do remember to put down fun things in your routine as well. They are just as important!
Take it easy!
You are not the first to be travelling abroad to get a degree. Many before you have done the same and they all have had good stories to share, which is why maybe in the first place you were able to motivate yourself into doing this. So do not worry you shall survive through the first few weeks and have a great experience yourself too. Hang in there, it will be worth it.
Asking questions is a great habit. This way you shall gain from someone else’s experience and you shall end up finding so much more about where you are going to be living a couple of years. This will help you in settling down better as well and in the process you shall make some new friends at University too.
Backup is key.
From the time you get on that flight at home to your University get in the habit of putting down everything on cloud memory. All your important documents, passport copies, your passport size photography, accommodation confirmation. Now once you get to university backup all your files, academic data and coursework. There is no guarantee on when your laptop will deceive you, be prepared.
This one I will just throw in for you. Being international students you never know what miscellaneous expense might crop up that will be unavoidable. Ergo, always plan ahead and save. This is one habit that will come in handy for life.
Its time now to get excited for the brand new chapter in your life, which is about to unfold.
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