Studying abroad is a very rewarding and rich experience for students. It allows them to study at world-renowned universities while providing them the opportunity to experience a new culture and make new friends. However, studying abroad is not quite easy. It presents a number of unexpected problems that might prove to be overwhelming for those who are unprepared. Given below are a few tips that will help you make the most of your experience:
Language barrier is perhaps the biggest issue most international students will face. It is therefore important for you to start studying English even before you move to the new country. While you may be able to scrape through when it comes to general conversation, taking notes, writing lengthy essays and taking tests can prove to be quite tough. Join a class, watch English shows on TV, talk to English speakers and read as much as possible to improve your language.
Give yourself some time
Do not expect to fit in and adjust in a new environment immediately. Regardless of how well prepared you are, it always takes some time to truly adapt to your environment. Accept this fact and learn to be patient. Understand that time will take care of most things. As you spend more time in the new country, you will learn more about the social norms, culture, academic expectations and learning style.
Talk to a student counselor
Before moving to a new country it might be a good idea to talk to a student counselor to understand what you can expect academically in a new university. Student counselors can provide you information on class sizes, lectures, learning styles and can provide you tips on how to prepare yourself better for the challenge.
Get a fellow student to tutor you
If you are having a hard time understanding lectures, taking notes and keeping up with the work, it would be a good idea to ask a fellow student to tutor you. One-on-one study lessons will allow you to ask questions freely and will make it easier to grasp complex topics and concepts that you are unable to understand in a class setting.
Socializing is an excellent way to learn more about the culture and the customs of the country you are studying in. it is therefore important to get involved and meet new people. Students in most universities are friendly and welcoming. The campus life usually offers a number of activities where you can socialize with other students. Join a campus based organization or club that you might be interested in. Select an activity that you are interested in, sign up and show up for meetings. You will feel comfortable in a group setting in no time at all.
All international students tend to feel out of place and uncomfortable initially. They also struggle academically during the first few months. However, the tips given above will help you minimize the problems and help you fit in faster and more efficiently into your new environment.