Studying abroad is an amazing yet overwhelming experience. You’re faced with a new culture, experiences, and collegiate system, adapting to all these can be a bit difficult.
Here are some of the ways to manage your adaptability –
Research what the college experience is like in your host country. Some of the things you can look out for – how their grading system works, classroom environment, lecturer-student relationship, getting accommodation, living expenses, different college communities. Seek out resources such as former study abroad students specific to your host country to obtain first-hand accounts of their college experience.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEW CITY
Familiarizing yourself with your surrounding helps you in taking the first step towards making your new environment feel like home. Make an effort to discover new places to visit, hangout locations and activities that would help you settle in properly. You should consider joining a community in college, as it’s a way to meet new people, interact, share ideas and foster long-lasting relationships. Surrounding yourself with people from different walks of life can challenge your ideas and mindset and open you up to new perspectives.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
It is definitely normal to experience culture shock or feel homesick in your host country, after staying for a while or even longer than what is considered a while. Develop a well thought out routine for your daily activities, but don’t be restricted by it when presented with the opportunities of trying out other things. Routines make people feel a bit comfortable and in control, they are just as important, when adjusting to a new place.
DEVELOP STUDY STRATEGIES
Establish your goals or study strategies. These would make your study abroad opportunity as meaningful as possible. Even in setting your goals, don’t limit yourself to setting only learning goals, broaden your horizon and think of how this experience would positively impact you personally and professionally.
It is important to understand that even with prior knowledge, the transitional phase of studying abroad can have an effect on your grades. Your academic abilities may not be accurately reflected at your host school in the first few weeks or first semester. This is natural. Try your best, reach out to classmates for help, and take notes in the language in which the class is taught if it’s something other than English. Familiarizing yourself with this information prior to your departure will be a great advantage and will ease cultural misunderstanding and academic frustrations.