Preparing to study abroad can be an overwhelming experience and the procedure may seem daunting or confusing at first. But, with the right information and proper set of skills, this intimidating process can be conquered. When you arrive in a new country with a head full of dreams and a mind full of hope, excitement, and even anxiety, the new way of life may seem impossible to lead initially. However, if you can manage to gain the following skills, your new journey is bound to be easier, enjoyable and may set you up for future success.
Lead a budget-friendly life
One of the most important things to learn is setting up a budget according to your net income or financial backing. Students studying abroad tend to start their journey with some kind of financial support, or you can do a part-time job. Try to lead your life with the resources that are available to you. Make a plan and try not to get derailed.
Another vital point is to cut unnecessary costs. There are many outgoing expenses (like rent, food, university essentials, transportation, clothing, utilities, etc.) that need to be regulated properly.
Try to have a compromising mindset
You may have been accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle and seldom had to compromise or sacrifice anything. But brace yourself for this challenging phase of your life. Because opting to share your private space with other students is going to be a smart decision. Sharing household chores, splitting expenses can save a lot of money. Learning to function without an instant support system is another compromise you need to make. You need to accept your new life with all of its pros and cons.
Expand your network
Networking and communication skills will come in handy when you are surrounded by mostly strangers in your new destination. It can be nice and comforting to see a few friendly and known faces in an unknown place. Try to expand your network as soon as possible and connect with the people around you as much as possible, be more social. You can search for social media groups that will help you connect with students from the same institution. Various student associations tend to arrange social events regularly, so try to attend them. These social interactions will provide you with plenty of opportunities to not only make friends but also to build connections that can make your new journey a success. Also, try to find out about the culture and tradition of the country.
Look for a job
Prepare yourself to do a part-time job because it will ease the financial pressure on you as a student studying abroad. Different countries have different kinds of stipulations for students, and you will also have to apply for a work permit. Try to look for a job that is close to your university and the place you are living in. Maintaining a job and keeping up with your studies can be challenging. Mentally prepare yourself to commit to a job while you work on your academics. Your university is likely to have a career center. Do not hesitate to reach out to them to kick-start your journey.
Adapt to new surroundings
If you are not familiar with your surroundings, you will need to put in real effort to adapt and adjust. To avoid culture shock, plan a trip to the close cities, go sightseeing, explore your surroundings, try to make new friends and visit the local markets. These will help you embrace the local culture. Ask a few local students and professors about the interesting facts and aspects of the area; about what to know, what to see or where to eat etc.
Be independent, confident and avoid homesickness
Finally, the most important skill is to be independent, confident and carry yourself properly in a new country or situation. You will be your own biggest source of support so facing every situation with courage and confidence is essential. Always keep in mind that you will have to manage and plan every bit of your life by yourself. So never lose faith in yourself.
Many students may find it difficult to function and focus due to being homesick. However, regularly reaching out to your family and friends back home will boost your emotional wellbeing. Maintain an active social life and reach out for help when you need it. Many universities have well-being centers and provide regular support to international students, so try to connect with them when it is necessary.
If you can manage to acquire these essential skills, you will be well-prepared for this new and exciting phase of your life. To broaden your horizon, try to keep an open mind to all the positive and new sorts of experiences. Because, studying abroad is more than just receiving education, it is a turning point in your life and a life-changing experience. Try to make the best of this opportunity.