Being an international student could, for most people, be a great step toward a life-changing and overwhelming experience as they tend to focus on bigger aspects of life. While thinking about these aspects, many international students forget about the trivial things that can significantly impact their lives. Landing in a foreign land with a whole different culture can be daunting, and adjusting to a university can be challenging too. If you are one of those lucky students who get to study abroad, don’t get upset as we have listed the top 10 tips for what an international student needs to know.
Here are some of the tips for international students that will help them in an unknown country.
- Practice the language- Being an international student, your native language will differ from the country you have been residing in. It is best if you practice your language to get fluent, it will help you communicate and make friends other than the students from your own country. If you are already from an international country, you may enroll yourself in an English course to enhance your skills which will result in fluency and correctness.
- Manage your finances- Moving to a different country might tempt you to spend money on new things and experiences but you need to manage your expenses wisely as you are on a budget. Find a part-time job, try to cook your meals to save on some extra bucks, and use your student card to avail of discounts in gyms, restaurants, and cafés. This should not mean that you need to deprive yourself of all the fun activities but do them wisely.
- Get involved- The most challenging part of being an international student is to get social with new people with diverse cultural backgrounds. Universities offer various student services for engagement such as joining clubs, becoming a student ambassador or volunteering so that the student can blend in with other students on campus.
- Get acquainted with public transport- With buses and trains available round the clock in foreign countries, this makes it the most convenient mode of transport. If your accommodation is far away from campus, consider investing in a student bus pass on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis to keep the cost down. Most major cities have subway and metro systems and investing in a travel pass will surely save you money.
- Take care of yourself- In many countries, medical costs are pretty expensive, and it is better to take great care of yourself to prevent any decline in your health. As soon as you settle in the country, get health insurance to manage your medical expenses wisely.
- Travel & gain new experiences– Once you get a hang of the area, transport, and expenses, you should explore the local culture of the country. Read blogs for guidance on where to eat and travel so that you don’t end up wasting money on worthless experiences. Don’t worry about the money as it is good to take a break in a while and treat yourself to beautiful places the country has to offer.
- Fight your homesickness– Homesickness is an unfortunate event of life, and the better you are prepared for it, the easier it will be for you to survive overseas. We highly recommend you to stay in touch with your friends and family back home, as talking to loved ones can really strengthen you. We also suggest you go out, meet new people, try new things and do things that keep you occupied.
- Don’t be afraid to ask- In many countries and cultures, asking questions isn’t considered a positive thing but in the US, people love questions. It reflects your effort to understand and the fact that you are attentive and listening to them. So do not be afraid of asking questions.
- Information on work hours– If you want to make some extra income while you’re studying abroad, you need to know your options and rights to work according to the country. In accordance with your student visa, you’ll be able to work up to 20 hours per week while studying. You can work full-time before and after your course starts along with the holidays. However, you shouldn’t rely on a part-time job as your main source of income to fund your living costs overseas.
- Accommodation– Accommodation is one of the most vital things to consider when you’re moving abroad as an international student. While many universities offer campus accommodation, it is always a good option to explore more options. Shared accommodation is comparatively cheaper and more comfortable than living in a hostel or student accommodation. It’s also a good idea to feel at “home” and live with overseas students.
An international student may face many educational and financial challenges along the way but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences of life. You’ll be exploring new cultures, eating new food, and meeting new people from all over the world and it really is a lot of fun and excitement. So, while you are here, benefit from the situation and enjoy all the bits the country has to offer you so that when it’s time to go back, you go home feeling confident, content, and with a huge collection of treasured memories.