Studying abroad can seem daunting at first. You’re away from your family and friends in a foreign land. For some international students, you’re in a country whose language you don’t fully understand. But that’s alright. It’s part of the journey.
Being an international student will always come to your advantage! It’s not just the different teaching methods and perspectives you gain studying abroad. Your foreign passport pretty much acts like a special pass to some things. Do a bit of digging around your area for discounts, activities, and support groups. But beyond all that, the greatest benefit will always be your overseas experience!
The Buddy System
Some universities and dorms provide you with a buddy or a guide. These people are locals who are like your first friend to help you familiarize yourself with the unfamiliar. They show you around your school and neighboring areas and help you get settled. Sometimes you form meaningful connections with them, too!
School Trips, Alternative Classes, and Cultural Excursions
A lot of your experiences studying abroad will be spent outside the classroom. You’ll be traveling around your chosen country for sure. Most of the time, your school will sponsor trips to nearby towns or cultural spaces, museums, and similar kinds of centers. Call them field trips, if you will. They will often offer alternative classes, too, like cooking or art just to immerse you in their local traditions.
Student discounts for days!
You can save loads of money with a transportation discount. Studying abroad will teach you to rely heavily on public transport and that’ll really rack up expenses, so having a student card for commuting will save your life (and wallet). The same thing goes for museum fares—sometimes you can even get in for free or on a pay-what-you-want basis on certain days. You’ll be surprised how far a student discount can get you: hotels, telco plans,
If you’re lucky, you can score a sale, but let’s keep shopping to a minimum, yeah?
Learning a new language firsthand (if you’re in a non-English speaking country)
When you spend a few years in a non-English speaking country, you pick up on the local language. Because, well, you don’t really have a choice but to learn it to survive. This is a huge perk, though. How many people can say they can speak multiple languages? Or just enough of a third language to get around? You learn so much about a culture just by speaking its native tongue. Also, scientists say it’s good for your brain. Go you!
Meeting locals and learning about their culture
Similar to the buddy system, you get to make friends you couldn’t have made at home. These are people who’ve grown up totally different from you. When you make friends abroad, you start understanding their culture. You learn new perspectives, and you get to share your culture, too! Plus, they take you to the best places to eat and hang out. Literally, you experience the local life that travelers envy so much. It can’t get more authentic than that!
Meeting other international students and learning about their culture
You may be put in an international dorm. They often have mixers or social events where you can interact with fellow international students. Take advantage of those events! You can also look up student orgs in your area. The people you connect with here become friends for life. You realize how similar we actually are despite our differences. You start to gain a worldview that you won’t get anywhere else than studying abroad!
Making a new home away from home
One of the main perks is experiencing a totally new way of living in another country. For one, their transport is different. Try comparing their traffic to that of Metro Manila for an easy conversation starter. See how early or late the shops close, figure out the little social and cultural nuances. Most of all, you make your own routes and routines over time and start feeling at home where you are.
Learning how to be independent and comfortable being by yourself
It’s going to be tough getting used to things by yourself for the first few weeks. But we promise you’ll get used to it. Over time, you learn how to do mundane things like groceries, household chores, commuting, and other ways of independent living while balancing studies and social life. It’s easier than it sounds! It preps you for life after school, too. Over time, you become a strong independent person living it up abroad!
Studying abroad is basically advanced adulting. All the while, you change your perspective and form character without even knowing. You can’t trade the relationships and strong connections you make along the way, too!