Studying abroad will be one of the biggest investments and struggles you’ll ever face in your education career. Though ass any international student on their graduation day “Was it worth it?” and all would agree it’s the most rewarding experience you could ever do. It gives you a competitive edge with a world class (guaranteed!) education and personality growth that’s irreplaceable. And is the most desirable qualities in the employment market. But again you don’t want to be yet just another international student, there’s hundred thousand going for it every year. So we share with you ways in how you can make the most of studying abroad for greater success.
Research the Country you Plan to Study In
It’s pretty exciting, traveling to a far off land, but soon enough it will sink in that you’ll be leaving all your familiarities behind. Some aspects would be quite obvious such as the differences in food and language and will be not so obvious. To help you adjust, do a little research on the following to make an easier transition.
- Country and Immigration laws
- Manner and Etiquettes
- Weather and Climate
- Acceptable attire for various occasions
- Local slang and pronunciation
- Emergency contacts
- Financial: taxes, fees, medical and travel insurance
Participate in “O” Week
“O” (orientation) week is compulsory (most activities) for all international students, though unfortunately most students take it for granted especially since they are bombarded with so much to soak in and this new found ‘freedom’ of studying abroad. However, you would benefit the most by taking full advantage of every activity available to you. Why? Because ‘O’ week only occurs well for only a week at the beginning of the study session. And there’ll be some activities designed to help you study for greater success and which would add greater value to your final CV/resume.
Familiarize Yourself with Academic Writing Etiquette
Take charge of how you present your final assignments and assessments. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to get low marks (especially when they come unexpectedly) and worst fail. So as soon as possible make a special trip to the Library and find out what workshops (also known as tutorials and drop-in sessions) are on offer. And again avoid making a new student mistake. Even if you are confident in researching, reading, and writing attend such sessions anyway. Since, different countries have their own education style and etiquette. Then only you’ll truly know what the university expects of you academically before it’s too late.
Study and study effectively are two different things. In the latter, a successful student knows how to manage their time, and examination and test preparation strategies inside, out. And let’s forget about the prior that’s just going to get you nowhere fast. Again find out what your university’s student center can offer you. And in the mean time for a head start begin to familiarize yourself with these Study Skill articles (click here).
Take Advantage of On-Campus Activities
It may look like all fun and games and hey take it as the perfect chance to help you adjust and meet new and like-minded friends. But also if such activities are chosen wisely you can make your final CV/Resume stand out. Let’s take a look at what can add value.
- University clubs that touches basis on all interests imaginable from sport to gaming, art to culture, chess to engineering and almost everything in between. Visit the Student Union in “O” week for a rundown of clubs you could join or if you wish how to create your own.
- Ask within your department or check notice boards frequently to know when conferences, special workshops, work experience and training periods are on offer.
Study Hard, Play Hard
Okay so it’s called ‘Study Aboard’ however, traveling all that way to study and not play will put a damper on your overall experience. So be sure to study hard yet play hard too. Venture out like a tourist, get to know every part of your new city. And use long weekend and holidays for exploring parts of the country.
And though, it can be easy to hang out with students from your own country and culture. Keep them they are as precious as well as mixing and mingling with other country folk and locals too. Socialize with them and keep it easy going, it will open up your horizon and make for a more adaptable personality.
If this applies to you and time management is not a problem by all means go for it. If it suits, start off small with casual or seasonal work. Not only does it provide a little income but experience and transferable skills to boot. And when your confidence grows and you’ve networked a bit aim for work that is relevant to your field. You can search for work at your University’s job search center or employment websites. From time-to-time, the University and its hotels has staff vacancies. Check their websites for more information.
Interact with Staff
Have a question or query that’s related to your subject – ask your professor or head of department. They will only be too happy to provide you with answers 🙂 . Really if any doubt crosses your mind, don’t be shy. At the start of the session, you’ll receive a course outline which will have information on the best ways to get in contact. Some prefer email, making an appointment or offer a drop-by period in their office and your professor will let you know when the best time of class is to ask away is too.
Bonus: making a personal trip to their office is a good way for your professor to be familiar with your personality and stand out from an ocean of students they meet daily. For one, answers to your problems will be customized accordingly and two, allows for a little networking. Don’t expect anything and definitely demand anything but who knows where a valuable opportunity may come your way.
Cope with Homesickness
You’ve left home and now matter how social and how long you’ve been away, homesickness will hit you at some point. Learn what triggers it and how you can overcome it. It’s not something you should take lightly and hide from because it will only distract you from your goals. Prepare in advance with this homesickness article, for more click here.
All the best at reaching your potential. Have a blast 🙂 . If you’d like to contact me you can leave a comment below or send me a message on Facebook – www.facebook.com/pdhotspot
Until next time.