Want to pursue higher studies abroad? The very idea to study masters abroad might seem really fascinating but as nothing is perfect, this too has its own challenges. Be it the drastic change in culture, missing home, family and friends or simply not being able to concentrate on studies, international scholars face various challenges unique to their new life overseas.
However a little bump here and there need not detract or derail you. It’s important to stay focused and prepare beforehand for the potential issues so that you can handle them in the best possible manner.
Here is a look at some of the struggles you may face as an international student and ways you can overcome them.
Common Challenges To Overcome While Preparing To Study Masters Abroad
First Day Panic attack – You have just landed in this new country and while unpacking it suddenly hits you that you are thousands of miles away from home in a foreign land where you don’t know anybody. You simply want to get back home!
Don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths. Freshen up, go out and meet people. Everyone there in the hostel would be in the same situation, away from their family. Talking to your co-scholars will instantly make you feel better.
Language Barriers- Although you may have passed TOEFL or IELTS with flying colours, there will be situations when you use a word incorrectly or there is some miscommunication arising out of the way you speak. You may feel frustrated and feel like no one in this alien country can understand what you want to say.
Stay calm. Remember you are trying your best to speak a foreign language and a few accent issues are often unavoidable. Don’t be too hard on yourself. With time, things will surely fall in place. Also, these will be the fond stories that you would probably be laughing about with your friends years later when you reminisce about your university days!
Drastic Cultural Change – Apart from language, cultural difference can also drive you crazy initially. Suddenly you are surrounded by people who dress , speak, eat and behave differently. What seems to be absolutely normal behaviour for them may appear pretty strange to you and vice versa. This may make you feel lonely and sad. This is apparent specially when you are sharing room with scholars from other countries.
Remember each country has a different culture and this integration is often difficult and challenging. With time, as you get to know each other more, you will be able to adjust and cope better. Observe the local students and immerse yourself in the new culture. Also there is a lot to learn and explore as you get to spend time with people of diverse cultures. Take this as an opportunity to enhance your knowledge and personality. Eventually you will not only align to the culture of your study country but also be able to help and teach your new classmates.
Homesickness – You may never have realized the importance of home this much ever before. You miss your sister, your mother’s terrible meals , your friends and you even regret not having packed the family photograph and your stuffed panda to this distant land. Feeling homesick is absolutely normal. However, its crucial that you do not let this feeling become a crippling factor affecting your stay and study abroad.
Remember your support network is always there for you. In this era of technology, you can connect to your loved ones at any hour for those comforting words or that bit of advice. Shut down those disturbing noises in your head that tell you how far you are from your home by involving yourself in various clubs or interests in your study destination. Indulge in self awareness activities, listen to music, practice yoga, aerobics, meditation or diary writing to feel better physically and mentally.
Feeling like an outsider – It really doesn’t matter which country you come from or which foreign country you may have gone for your higher studies, there will be times you end up feeling like an outsider. You may wonder why your coffee is pricey as compared to that of locals, why you need to always stand in a separate queue or sometimes what’s so funny that everybody is laughing about when you fail to realize what the joke was. Trying to get hold of the new culture may be a little taxing initially and you may feel totally disconnected and out of place.
Always remember, its highly unlikely that someone will want to make you feel unwanted or uncomfortable deliberately. While you may never truly become one of them, as you get immersed in the new culture….. the problems will fade away and you will feel much better.
Try making friends with local scholars. It may take some really good effort on your part to achieve a meaningful friendship overcoming the cultural boundaries but once you do so, you will start feeling much relaxed and safe in your new study country.
Handling Currency Differences – While currency difference does not hurt much in case of a short visit but if you are planning for a full fledged course abroad, it can have quite a big impact on your finances. Getting used to the currency of your study nation can often be a challenging process. You obviously won’t want to spend euros as if they are dollars.
Its important to keep a quick conversion system handy so that you can figure out prices while buying daily items. Talk to local students about the normal price of staple items so that you have a fair idea of the prices.
Not wanting to go back – Now that you have finally overcome most of the above challenges and are in love with your new home, there is this new challenge. Yes, with your studies nearing completion its almost time to head back home. Strange but true, you do not want to go back. You are already missing the locals, the street food and the cafe down the lane. You feel you will miss this freedom, late night walks, adventures and most importantly your roommates and friends.
Thus leaving your study destination is often another challenge. However, there is the excitement of getting united with the family, catching up with old friends and sharing this incredible experience you had while studying Master abroad.
Udrus is a platform simplifying the process of studying abroad. If you are planning to travel for higher studies in world class international universities and want help regarding Student Visa Process, Health Insurance, accommodation and more, get in touch with us today.