Studying in another country is a smart way to gain access to educational resources and opportunities for career advancement. If you have the chance to study in a foreign country, there are many formalities to handle prior to your time abroad. To help you navigate the process of studying abroad and adjust to a new, unfamiliar setting, here are four tips for international students studying abroad.
1. Learn The Language
If you plan to study in another country, you will have difficulty learning new things and retaining information if you do not know the native language very well. You can seek guidance from a professional writing service to help you become familiar with writing in another language.
You can also practice your listening and speaking skills by listening to podcasts and audiobooks. You can even contact career development services for international students and work together to create a plan for language learning success.
2. Use Your Resources
If you are having trouble adjusting to your new setting, use your resources to the fullest. You may need to work on self-advocacy or basic communication skills to succeed in school. If you need to make extra money to support yourself while in school, you can reach out to your advisors to learn the steps for looking for a new job.
Remember that you can do it if you put all that you have into the process. Be sure to talk to your professors during their office hours and ask for tutoring if needed. You have to find ways to make studying abroad work for you. Creating solutions for yourself means utilizing all the available resources to make a difference in your learning.
3. Tolerate Cultural Differences
Depending on where you go to study, you might encounter different cultural norms that interfere with your own. Be respectful of the culture you are immersed in, but stay true to who you are and the culture you were brought up in. Cultural tolerance and inclusion are growing movements in and out of the US as more international students pursue their studies abroad.
To brush up on the dominant culture in your area of study, look online and watch videos on everyday interactions, social expectations, and so on to get yourself ready. Once you start school, observe how other students interact with each other and try to get to know people in your classes. The more you step outside of your comfort zone and get to know others, the more practice you will get adjusting to this new setting and cultural framework.
4. Reach Out To Family
Even when you are studying abroad, make sure you check in with friends and family back home. Sometimes a simple phone call or text message is all you need to restore your sense of belonging and comfort. It can be overwhelming going to school in an unfamiliar place. Keeping your friends and family close by, even just by reaching out to them with the occasional phone call, will lift your spirits when navigating a different country becomes difficult.
The Bottom Line
Studying abroad as an international student requires many steps for a successful scholastic and social experience. You need to define and work towards meeting the expectations you set for school while also balancing the need to stay true to yourself while relating to others. Accessing a strong level of willingness to learn in an unfamiliar setting will take you far if you are willing to put in the work. Consider the four tips in this article as you pursue your studies abroad. Good luck!