5 Frightening International Student Experiences That Can Be Good Too | Edukasyon.ph
Study Abroad

5 Frightening International Student Experiences That Can Be Good Too

Studying abroad isn’t always rainbows and unicorns.

Just the thought of going places, meeting people, and learning culture to get a degree sounds all fancy and exciting (read: pack your bags ASAP), we feel you! But while there’s truth to those ~feels~, there’s also no discounting the challenges students have to face when adjusting to a new environment.

uncertain girl

Some would want to make you book a flight home stat, some would teach you to look on the brighter side and enjoy the process. Tbh, we prefer the latter! There are a whole list of stories international students can share and relate to, but here are just five of those where focusing on the silver lining can’t get any realer. Read on!   


1. Getting lost around the city.

Sometimes wandering around an unfamiliar place can do some good to people too. If you’re the planner type who has an itinerary every day down to the last minute, this might sound like a total disaster. But trust us, getting lost can also mean being found in hidden gems around the city often unheard of online. Think of it as a mini adventure, yes?

Look for the Silver Lining:

Find your way back like a local! Walk around the city, and spot noteworthy local shops and restaurants along the way that you can try next time.



2. Struggling with academics.

As if studying isn’t hard enough, studying in a foreign country takes it all to a different kind of hard. That’s why you don’t have to be too hard on yourself if you find yourself exerting more effort academically than you would back home. It’s okay! At the very least, struggling means there’s so much you can learn ahead. Isn’t that a win in itself?

Look for the Silver Lining:

Maximize student programs in the university. Attend peer tutorials, review lectures and other initiatives by the school admin. Most have programs specifically catering to international students too!

girl who needs tutor


3. Juggling work with school.

Studying abroad isn’t just challenging, it’s also expensive. For international students who need to make ends meet, finding a scholarship or a job can fund their education. The latter, however, often takes much more time, energy and effort. While you can wish to win the lottery so you don’t have to work anymore, you can just hope too that your side hustle provides opportunities for growth and learning far beyond any classroom could ever give.

Look for the Silver Lining:

Being exposed to the workforce early can be tiring but rewarding. Just imagine how it’ll grow your character, skills, and network!

man introducing himself


4. Being called out for doing things differently.

For what seems to be one of the most challenging yet necessary parts of studying abroad, adapting to a new culture doesn’t have to mean losing your own identity, your nationality included. There may be times you’ll get called out for eating rice “too much” or celebrating Christmas waaaay too early, but you can’t (and shouldn’t) be ashamed of your roots. Be loud and proud!

Look for the Silver Lining:

Before getting all defensive and offended, calm yourself down and realize that people simply don’t accept what they don’t understand. Respectfully respond, and seize the opportunity to learn from each other’s culture.

Filipino meme


5. Having a small circle of friends.

Finding your tribe in a sea full of new faces can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re not really the friendly type. When you study abroad, you’ll want to stick with people you can call your friends but be careful not to mistake quantity for quality. Surrounding yourself with a lot of people can sound like a pretty good plan to relieve homesickness, but know that there’s nothing wrong with keeping just a handful of trustworthy ones too.

Look for the Silver Lining:

Go ahead and meet new people, but be wise to invest more of yourself in relationships that count.

friends forever


Studying abroad is an experience of a lifetime. Not everyone gets the opportunity to learn new lessons and culture in one sitting. That’s why when you get the chance, seize it! Sure, there are experiences that can put you to the test but there’s hardly any experience too that you can’t learn from. Why not focus on that instead? You got this!

Want to learn more tips and tricks to have the best study experience abroad? Check out more articles like this in the Study Abroad section at Edukasyon.ph now!