Addressing Mental Health Concerns for Students Planning to Study Overseas

Studying abroad has become a prevalent and thriving trend among students worldwide due to the increased accessibility and popularity of global education. To substantiate, each year, more than 7 lakh Indian students move abroad for higher education, as per data from the Education Ministry. Each year, the number of students moving abroad in the pursuit of higher education is only incrementing, and that too at a hefty rate.

However, students may face difficulties in adapting to a new culture and academic environment. It is well understood that students are quite likely to witness a cultural shock when they move to a new country, and other changes transpiring parallel to that seem overwhelming. In fact, it would not be incorrect to say that no matter how enthusiastic students may be to move abroad, moving to a new country and fending for themselves can be mentally exhausting.

Silver Fern Education Consultants is a trusted name in the education industry in Chandigarh, India, with over 14 years of experience. Our primary focus is to provide students with top-quality services and counselling to help them achieve their academic goals. At Silver Fern, we have assisted over 16,000 students in achieving successful careers in highly desirable education destinations worldwide, such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Dubai, and Singapore. We have spanned thousands of student journeys, starting from their applications for admission to finding accommodation when they finally move to their dream study-abroad destination.

Having looked at their journeys closely or rather having guided them through their journeys, we understand the hassle and stress involved. We understand that studying abroad and adjusting to a new culture, academic setting, and support system can be a daunting challenge for students to navigate. Having said that, as an education consultancy working with an extensive network of schools, our support to students is not limited to getting an offer letter for them or mentoring them for profile enhancement. Henceforth, we lay equal emphasis on offering effective support to students’ mental health as they undergo rather drastic changes in their environment and life. We have a dedicated team of counsellors who are available round the clock to provide comprehensive services to assist students before they embark on their study abroad journey.

These counsellors not only acknowledge the psychological aspect of massive transitions in students’ lives but also offer personalised guidance and counselling support to promote greater clarity, confidence and calmness among students as they embark on new journeys. We recognize the importance of proper planning and preparation, and our committed team ensures that students have a seamless transition into their chosen destination. Clearly, international students studying abroad may face a range of mental health concerns that could eventually affect them in multidimensional ways if not addressed. These concerns include homesickness, cultural shock, stress, anxiety, sleep problems, and financial pressure if not prepared well in advance to cope with the overwhelming experience of adapting to a new location, culture and education system.

At Silver Fern, we are dedicated to addressing these concerns with a personalised approach, providing guidance and assistance to help students manage their mental health while studying abroad. Not only are we determined to promote better opportunities for students but also to promote positive mental health and well-being so that students can attain an optimistic outlook in the vital years of their lives. We acknowledge that positive mental health is the foundation for a thriving career and offers students enough resilience to changes and challenges in the environment. We also recognize the communication issues, differences in mental health systems, and misinformation that can make it difficult for overseas students to seek help. Therefore, our team ensures that students are informed about the resources available in their host country. Delivering on that, we provide networking opportunities for students to connect with former students, present students, and industry experts in their fields. We organise gatherings, webinars, and workshops to help students expand their networks and learn more about their interests. Engaging in these activities and support groups help students feel more comfortable in a foreign environment and hence, facilitates the transition in a worthwhile way. In alignment with our vision, ‘overseas education consultants empowering students to become global leaders, ‘ we do lay great emphasis on promoting effective emotional intelligence among students as a key leadership trait. On a daily basis, we cater to students walking up to us with dreams of studying abroad and from that very moment, we commit multidimensional guidance to students, even preparing them for the mental health challenges that they are likely to face on their paths. Not only that, but even after students arrive at their destination, our support does not end.

We stay in touch with them to ensure their smooth transition and address any issues or problems they may encounter, advising them on amenities and student support services in their location and assisting them in connecting with other students or alumni networks. We take the time to understand each student’s specific concerns and work with them to ensure a successful academic trip abroad. Culture shock is a common experience that students may encounter while studying abroad. It refers to feeling lost, uncertain, or anxious in a strange new environment with cultural practices different from your own. While planning to study abroad, the idea of it may seem like an adventure. However, different people may suffer from culture shock differently, with some experiencing lethargy, extreme homesickness, isolation, sleep and eating disturbances, feelings of helplessness, loss of concentration and ability to finish tasks, and critical reactions to the host culture. Despite this, the cycle of culture shock is inevitable.

To maintain good mental health while studying abroad, a few small steps that can make a significant difference to a student’s study abroad experiences include maintaining a positive attitude, practising meditation, exercising, speaking with friends and family regularly, having a proper diet, engaging in hobbies, finding time to be alone and explore, and building a support system and community. Taking time for yourself to relax and explore new places while abroad can be beneficial for your mental health. It is essential to have a group of people whom you can rely on for emotional support, advice, and companionship to help you adjust to life in a new place and cope with any challenges you may face. To encapsulate, having worked for more than a decade in tertiary education and counselled thousands of students through these years, we now have a clear understanding of the kind of mental health challenges and stressors that students are vulnerable to. Our counsellors effectively understand the challenges that students are prone to at each step of their study abroad journeys, and the guidance hence offered is very tailored to the realistic challenges surrounding students as they undertake this journey. In our pursuit of guiding students and taking them much closer to their study abroad dreams, mental health is at the epicentre of each endeavour.

About Silver Fern Education Consultants

Founded in 2009, Silver Fern Education Consultants is one of the leading education consultants in India, providing premier international academic counselling and admission services for the past 14 years. It provides academic consulting and effective solutions to students aspiring to study in the most sought-after countries for academic excellence, such as Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, The United States of America and Dubai, amongst others and is also the authorized representative of 450+ institutes across the globe.

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