It is never easy to leave a place familiar and comfortable, but some changes are necessary to build resilience and to increase your value when you get into the workforce.
This article explores the little tips on adapting to the new environment and hopefully, will be useful for all the courageous students out there who took that leap of faith to study abroad for an extended period of time.
Tip 1: Learn about the culture before flying
Prepare yourself by reading up on the country and Institution you are flying to. Find out the favourite activities locals love to do, places to explore, and festivals to attend! You will never fully learn about a culture until you experience it, but it is always good to do some research prior.
Tip 2: Pick up some local slangs
If you are studying in UK, Australia or New Zealand, there will hardly any language barrier, but you may find that some phrases and words are very different from what we speak. Have fun researching on the popular slangs before you fly to easily comprehend your new friends!
Tip 3: Get over your fear and initiate the conversation with locals
Everyone gets shy at the start, thus be the brave one and break the ice. If you are not sure how, read my post on How to break the ice for some pointers!
Tip 4: Get a job
This is perhaps one of the greatest way to blend into the local way of living. Study abroad students should seek out internships and casual jobs that are open for international students through their Institution’s career portal. You will not only earn some cash, but you make friends outside of your Faculty/ University and get to experience how the locals work. Do read my post on How do I get a part-time job while studying overseas? for tips on getting employed.
Tip 5: Be open-minded and embrace the little quirks
Everybody who decides on living in a foreign country needs some time to adjust to their new environment. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some time to adjust. However, after a certain period of time, you need to remind yourself to break out of your comfortable little nest and try to immerse yourself in the local culture. You have to accept that certain things were simply not the same back in your home country.
Until you get to this point, remember to be respectful, patient, and humble. You are, after all, a guest living in a foreign country, and have to be open-minded to the different way of living.
What do you think are some other important tips to take note of to ease adapting in a new place?