Do you want to study abroad? Are you interested in studying in the UK? Or any other European country? No matter how blingy or dreamy studying abroad life looks on the surface, there is always a series of real struggles behind the scenes until the day you make it to the end.
In this post, I am going to talk about a few points you need to remember before you start packing up to study abroad as an international student.
5 Reminders Before You Take off to Study Abroad
We live in a digital world, where everybody is sharing so much information that sometimes it really comes difficult to arrive at a decision. On Instagram, students who have just arrived in the UK or any European country start posting about how they are living their dream life, free from everyone and leaving everything behind, but the reality is full of uncertainties which hardly anyone talks about.
While there will be good days, you will also be surrounded by negative, judgemental and not-so-happy people just like in your own country. Obviously, there is going to be cultural difference, and mannerisms difference which is the beauty of any different country and one must be willing to adapt to them. So before you start fantasising about a Karan Johar movie scene, I would like to poke and burst the bubble that the initial few months will be very tough and you might not even understand so many things, which is absolutely ok and normal.
This doesn’t happen anywhere except for the movies
It is altogether a different world, you choose to get exposed to. The more realistic expectations you will have before leaving for studying abroad the more you will be at peace with yourself. Here are 5 things to take care of before you step out to study abroad:
1.) Do your research but don’t overstress
It is not only the university and course research we should focus on, we must also try to understand the place we are heading to. Although we cannot practically understand all the things about a place, we can research the living style, accent, economy, and cost of living situation in the country.
These factors play a crucial role when it comes to setting foot in the new world. When I moved to the UK, I wasn’t aware that the UK is heading towards a cost of living crisis, maybe I didn’t even think about it. Now I am part of it and honesty we can never come fully prepared and during such times we must focus on things we can still do, that’s what I am doing.
2.) Have financial support
Besides the university fee, rent and daily expenses, there is a lot of money involved when you plan to study abroad. Do not plan in haste, have a backup until you finish your studies, and do not rely on part-time jobs completely, sometimes you might not get one as you anticipated and it can put you under a lot of financial strain.
The UK has seen a significant increase in international student intake this year amid the cost of living crisis. There was a severe scarcity of student accommodation and I am sure it will affect many more aspects of living. Having financial support during your studies will help you to worry less and concentrate on your course.
3.) Have a strong moral support system
Along with financial support, as a student, you also need continuous motivation and positive energy to move ahead during your tough times. Make sure that you speak with family and friends on regular basis. The feeling of isolation and loneliness hits many when they arrive in a new country and people overcome it slowly when they start to make friends in the university or at the workplace after completion of their studies.
We all have that one go-to space, never stop sharing things that bother us and always reach out to your support system.
4.) Define boundaries
Even when you move abroad, you can not get away with the mindset of the people around you. You will also find people from similar ethnic backgrounds and your place of origin. As humans, we do have this mindset of comparison and assuming things, which is one of the biggest joy killers in friendships and at the workplace.
When you see such people around you, define your boundaries and do not be afraid of saying ‘NO’ when you need to say it. Your mental health starts to improve drastically when you learn to define boundaries with people and the environment that no longer helps in your growth.
5.) Be ready for the worst
To be honest, with good days, there would be dull and gloomy days, incidents and situations you will not see coming and the worst part is that you will have to deal with it alone most of the time, which just adds to the stress. So if you choose to stay in the reality and be prepared to face things with a strong mind you will be solution-focused.
To conclude, I would say that everybody has a different background and different experiences but I have also been a part of this process, seeing people around me feel anxious and stressed when reality hit hard. I just want students to come prepared and have a solid backup before arriving to study abroad so that they can be in a better state of mind and focus on things they wanted to do.
Explore while you study abroad, enjoy and never be ashamed of talking about how you feel. Stay blessed.
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