If you have your letter of admission and the study permit, the next step is to planning for your new location. This involves identifying how to survive in a new country as a foreign student. You not only have the usual things to worry about – making friends, adjusting to a new timetable, workload, and teachers, among others – you also have extra concerns to contend with. And these can include adjusting to a new culture and dealing with feelings of homesickness.
So, the more information you have about studying abroad and adapting to your new country, the easier it will be to plan for future events and develop strategies to successfully adjust to life abroad. In this article, I will share some tips for surviving in a new country as an foreign student.
Learn about the culture and language of your new country
Prepare for your trip by reading books about the culture, travel guidebooks, and popular websites relevant to the country (and especially the city) you are travelling to. If there will be a language barrier, you may plan to take language classes or seek out a tutor to make your transition period easier.
Connect with the international student body
One of the tips for surviving in a new country is to locate the international student body. The international student offices are great resources for international students. They can help you in several ways. These include helping you with finding a place to live, opening a bank account, getting necessary documents, and finding a roommate. So, don’t hesitate to use their resources before and after you arrive in the country.
Pack for the weather
In most cities, you are likely to experience variation in the weather. So, it is essential to bring clothes that will keep you both warm and dry in winter. Inclusively, add another few layers if you are planning to study in places that are known for cold. You can also add light cotton clothes to stop you from getting too warm in the summer. Basically, be sensible and prepare for the city you are going.
Be open to new experiences
You are probably in a city overflowing with inspiring people, with all kinds of interests, talents, and hobbies. So, explore what your new location has to offer. Sign up to do something you have never done before. Only through experience will you understand another culture and if your course is more than 1 year, then it is important to learn the culture of its people. And you can’t do this without keeping an open mind. Also, you must leave prejudices behind and have a positive attitude. This can help you to pay attention to the worldviews of the new culture and be aware of what is taking place around you.
Engage your cultural community
Most schools have student communities much like where students came from. So, ensure you join one so that you can feel less lonely. Depending on the program you are in, you might also have the chance to connect with your own community as part of a project. If you are a Master’s or Ph.D. student, you can find ways to connect your research interests with your own community. Therefore, joining your cultural community will go a long way in helping you to survive in your new country.
Keep in touch with people at home
Try to maintain relationships with people at home while you are away. You can do this by keeping in touch regularly. This assures people that you continue to care about them. Yes, you will be extremely busy settling in and learning about your new environment. But ensure to keep those lines of communication open. This will help you to stay in touch with the reality at your home country.
Consider getting a part-time job or internship
Even if you have all the money you need for your study, getting a job while in school can help you integrate easily with the community. But it is also good to earn some income. Your standard of living will change to adapt to your new surroundings and the income you get from the job may come really handy. So, to keep your head above water, you can seek out internships and jobs that are available for foreign students through your school’s international student center.
Choosing to study abroad can be a great decision. So, ensure you intentionally make the most of living at the heart of everything. The above tips for surviving in a new country can help to ensure that your trip will be an adventure.
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