So you’ve finally passed the application process and are already set to study abroad in a few days! While you’ll surely miss your family and friends, you still can’t wait to embark on a new adventure with a new environment and many new friends to meet!
It’s inevitable for any student set to take their education in foreign land to feel excited. But new territory also means new faces and a whole new culture, which can make or break your experience if you’re not careful!
So what can you do in the meantime? Learn how to avoid these while you’re embarking on a different adventure abroad:
Not researching your school’s country
While it’s understandable to not know much about a new country, ignorance wouldn’t do well for you, especially if you’ll be living there in the next few years. Before trekking off to your host country, brush up on its history and learn a few conversational greetings if they’re not native English speakers.
Failing often or studying too much
No matter the university, having bad grades abroad won’t translate well with your record. Some universities might integrate the grades you’ve earned abroad with your GPA, while other international universities only use a pass-fail system, which means a C or a better grade will be the only way you can pass.
At the same time, don’t stay crammed up in your room all the time. While it’s important to keep those grades up, you don’t have to lock yourself away from the world all the time! All it takes is moderation and a great deal of self-discipline to appreciate your learning experience abroad while making the most out of it!
Ignoring orientation events
If you’re a natural introvert (or probably someone who just doesn’t like going to orientations), you should try going to a few of these orientations for a change. This is where you’ll meet a lot of people, especially newcomers like you! Chances are these new students wouldn’t have as many friends as you yet so don’t be afraid to open up and introduce yourself!
Disregarding your budget
Obviously, traveling is not easy on anyone’s budget, but surely, you already planned your budget long before you decided to take this opportunity abroad, right? If you know how to plan properly, chances are you wouldn’t have to worry about splurging your expenses for something else. Although keeping a tight budget is important, worrying too much will not do you or your friends any good, either. Again, moderation is key.
Not exploring or engaging with new people or culture
Staying inside your dorm or with your host family wouldn’t be of much help if there’s a whole new country that’s waiting for you to explore! Step outside your comfort zone by talking to the locals. You don’t have to be a master of your host country’s dialect to converse, just do it! Engage with your fellow students, teachers and peers while taking in all the new things you can find each day.
Befriending only people from your home country
While it’s nice to engage with your fellow kababayan, it’s not always the best experience to bond exclusively with them during your entire stay abroad. Expand your network beyond the usual English and Filipino speakers; engage with the locals and befriend new peers from other countries just as much if not more!
While some cultures condone drinking during parties, you wouldn’t want to be that person with a reputation for vomiting outside the bar after how many drinks, right? You wouldn’t want to put yourself at risk abroad, and you certainly don’t want to embarrass yourself, your school or your nationality with that kind of behavior.
Keeping your guard down
Just because you’re in a completely new environment with friendly people doesn’t mean you’re immune from becoming a target of any crime! The same goes for anyone in any country. Although you don’t have to be paranoid about keeping yourself or your valuables safe, best to keep an open mind about your surroundings.
Refusing to leave the world you left behind
While it’s okay to stay connected to your friends and family and stay updated with all the latest drama thousands of miles away, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time in your host country. Don’t bring all those burdens to your current life for now – learn to let go of all that once you’re done experiencing everything your new experience has to offer.
Not keeping in touch with your friends and family back home
There’s no such thing as “too busy” to keep in touch with your family and friends nowadays. Never forget to keep in touch with your family and friends back home! With Viber, Facetime, Skype, Facebook and other social media platforms that will help you stay connected, it’s impossible to not update your loved ones and friends every once in a while!
Ultimately, as long as you keep an open mind and do things in moderation, just enjoy and have the best experience of your life in your new home!
Want to read more tips about studying abroad? Or are you looking for more opportunities that can take your education outside home? Check out Edukasyon.ph to learn more about taking your education to further heights!