10 common problems to studying abroad
Study abroad is pretty exciting and provides you with excellent opportunities, but it is not always a bed of roses. There is a good share of obstacles to overcome. Cultural norms, a severe bout of homesickness or troubles with your studies, like mastering the all-important “college essay” might cause you problems. Don’t despair! Almost all students from different countries face a variety of different trials when trying to experience school life abroad.
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Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but you do miss your parents and wish you could curl up in your cosy bed. It's okay when leaving behind familiar things. The trick is not to let it ruin your time abroad. Try not to feel alone. Dive into a new social life instead! Join local youth groups or school organisations. Chatting with your family and friends on social media will help you to realise your support group is not that far away. Ask school advisors for advice. They will gladly lend an ear. You can ease a bit of homesickness by looking for a familiar name place McDonalds or Starbucks. Some folks find solace in practising yoga or meditation, keeping a journal, or taking long walks. Try lessening long hours on social media or daydreaming about home. This can cause feelings of loneliness, and you will want to go home even more.
Troubles in class
You are in a whole new world! How can your teachers expect you to sit in the class and attend boring lectures when you can explore the town, check out new museums, and meet the locals. Just don't forget why you are here. Don’t risk your GPA or scholarship just because you want to have fun.
Regardless how many times you ask for directions, or how many detailed maps of the city you carry with yourself, at some point you will find yourself lost and alone in a new city. Just stay calm. It doesn't matter how dire the situation may seem, whether it’s ungodly hours, yucky weather, or a creepy neighbourhood, you will get out! Having maps or guide books is a definite plus. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be confident and approach a bystander. Stay calm and eventually you will find yourself on the right path. Be prepared with the exact address of where you are going, the address and phone number of where you live, as well as a jacket, and a little stash of cash.
Lack of money
At some point, you can find yourself spending too much for dining at a fancy restaurant or going out with friends. Before leaving to study abroad, try to save some money. PAY ATTENTION to your spendings and lay out a realistic budget you can live with. Otherwise, you can apply for a work permit, perhaps through your school, or hit your parents up for a loan or an early Christmas gift.
I have nothing to wear!
If you find yourself overseas with no sweaters or long pants in 30-degree frost, this might become a real problem. Check multiple sources for the type of weather expected during your visit. Make sure that you have clothes and footwear for rain, snow, mud, etc. If you can afford it, lay aside some money to buy appropriate clothes after you arrive.
Time zone problems
If you have to wish Granny happy birthday, you may have to do it at 3 a.m. There is no sense in getting freaked out about it. Just plan ahead! Traversing separate time zones becomes frustrating to no end. You must check and double checks which timezone you are in and adjust your phone calls appropriately.
I keep saying the wrong things
Speaking and understanding each other can be one of the most challenging aspects of studying abroad. Take time and get to know traditions and speech. Just don’t be afraid of getting misunderstood and don’t avoid talking with the locals.
My time is up, but I don’t want to leave
Now you love everything about your host country. This adventure has made you brave and more comfortable in your skin.On the other hand, returning home means family pressures and huge assignments you don’t want. You came here to learn and grow. Returning home is a very crucial part of completing your experience of studying abroad. Returning home allows you to face all the changes in yourself that you experienced while studying abroad. And don’t forget: you can always plan a return trip, or invite your friends to visit you.