It seems an easy transition to those of you who dream of simply escaping from your parents and studying abroad. But that’s not the truth. Studying in aborad may seem like fun to do, but certainly it’s not an easy task. There are certain challenges every non-native student faces while studying abroad.
That feel of an outsider
Doesn’t matter which country you are from and which country you are going to, it’s almost certain that you will end up feeling like an outsider for a time being. Its not in every country you’ll be purposely made to feel uncomfortable or unwanted but it can still be tiring in the beginning. The key here is not to let yourself get discouraged. Most of people will be encouraging and friendly if you let them and this problem will be smaller and smaller.
The language barrier
It is probably the most obvious challenges everyone faces while studying abroad. In some cases, students are totally new to the languages and that they have to start to learn the new language from scratch. While in other cases, students who think they are fluent, they will be unable to understand the strong accent. Basically, words and language that other students use will be difficult to learn at the beginning, but the language barrier problem will go away pretty easy once you’re immersed.
The currency differences
Getting used to currency differences is also a challenge to most of the students coming from different parts of the globe. It always helps when you learn to figure out prices when buying things in your own currency and not the one you are actually paying. Currency differences will not make much difference if you are only visiting for a short period of time, but if you wish to stay there for a semester or more, then you’ll understand the heat of it.
Being far away from the support network
No doubt, living abroad is awesome when everything is going well. But when the universe seems to conspire against you, you will be all alone. Your usual support network of family and friends will be hundreds or thousands (in some cases) of miles away. Even if you weren’t aware about how important they were, it’ll be times like this when you find out. Well, the challenge will be there for the first few months. But then, you’ll build up your new support network and everything will be fine.
The Cultural Misunderstandings
As a foreigner, you’ll be unaware about the local culture and their rules, so let’s get this straight: you will make mistakes and some of them will be awkward. Well, the key here is to learn from them and try not to do it again. An easy way to avoid many mistakes is to observe what others are doing and how are they doing it. In the whatever time frame you are there, you will get all the little unspoken agreements about their culture.
The list will sound a bit harder than it actually is and “having failed your way to success” will come to your mind. But when you push through the challenges, everything will be fine. Just believe in yourself and you’ll make through it.