Studying abroad is a truly rewarding experience. You’ll get to experience an entirely new culture, get a great education and grow as a person.
But, of course, it can also be challenging. It might be your first time living away from home and so it can take a little time to adjust and you might be wondering how to adapt to studying abroad.
So, how can you make it easier? Here’s some advice on how to adapt to studying abroad.
Facing culture shock
One common example of a difficulty that international students experience is ‘culture shock’.
No matter where you go to study abroad, you’ll almost always experience culture shock to some level. It’s only natural for you to feel out of place in a totally new environment!
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to overcome culture shock. For instance, talking to other international students experiencing life in the UK, or in the USA, or even local students, will often help.
A lot of them will probably have the same feelings and nerves as you do, and it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone.
Culture shock will always pass quickest if you make the effort to immerse yourself into your host culture.
You could go out exploring, meet the local people, try new food, learn about the country’s history and go to cultural events to help you adjust.
Dealing with homesickness
Homesickness is another common and perfectly normal reaction to living abroad. People experience homesickness in different ways, but one nearly universal problem is missing food from home.
Thankfully, the UK and the USA are great study destinations for fixing that! As two of the world’s most multicultural countries, you can find food from almost every culture.
Speaking to native speakers every day is also a huge help when trying to improve your language skills, and the more you learn, the more confident and comfortable you’ll be.
Don’t worry about making mistakes —people are usually very friendly and understanding!
Settling into life abroad
Of course, when thinking about how to adapt to studying abroad, you’ll have to consider lots of practical things too. You’ll need to register with a doctor, set up a bank account and make sure you have accommodation.
Make sure you’re also ready for the hard work, commitment and organisation needed to study a degree.
You’ll need to be responsible for independent study and developing your academic knowledge, and the more you focus on your studies, the more you’ll remember your end goals and the reasons why you decided to study abroad.
Like all things in life that are worth doing, studying abroad won’t always be easy. But as long as you put in the effort to make the most of your experience, feelings of culture shock and homesickness will soon pass, and you’ll quickly fall in love with the country.
Studying abroad is an amazing thing to do, and it will help you on your path to a bright future.