Here are Student Ambassador Pratik’s top tips for surviving as an international study abroad student! From culture shock to homesickness, read on to discover his best insights when readjusting to Ireland…
Studying abroad always sounds so interesting. This means coming to a new place, meeting new people, and settling into a totally different environment. It is an exciting opportunity for those who are open to change and to new experiences. You will travel to different places, learn about new cultures, taste amazing food, and have so many more exciting adventures. Studying abroad is a unique experience, and it is one that I believe every student should undergo at least once in their lifetime.
Studying abroad can be very important for personal development, and can introduce adaptability and change. But… (there is always a but), all of this can be overwhelming, and you might even start having second thoughts after reaching your new university. Many students find it a bit difficult living far from home as it exposes them to an abundance of responsibilities that they are unsure of handling. Let’s discuss some of the experiences or adaptations you might face, moving to a new country.
– There are many culture shocks that you will experience when you move to a new country. Like, in India, vehicles do not stop for pedestrians to cross the road but here in Ireland, pedestrians are given priority and the vehicles will stop when they see that you are trying to cross a road. This was a surprise to me.
– Another one is Gaelic football; in which you dribble like a basketball, pass like a volleyball, and shoot like a football. That was a very unique concept that I found.
– You may find a smaller number of people around if you are coming from an extremely populated area like India. In such a case, don’t be scared of the intermittent isolation, be in contact with close friends, family and acquaintances through video calls, and make them familiar with the place so that you feel more comfortable adapting to the roads and routes.
Motivation and inspiration:
– When you are new and you see that everything is so different from home, either you might have a sudden realisation of the change that you have gone through, or you might feel that this is the best decision you have ever made. Keeping yourself motivated constantly throughout the course is very important. Try reading about some major accomplishments people have made in your field of study and give a research approach to the projects you would like to focus on.
– After a while, when you are settled in, you might experience the fear of missing out (FOMO) with the important family events and gatherings. This is normal and this is easier to pass as you have some known people around you who share the same feelings as you. Sit with them, talk to them about the culture shocks, and just try to enjoy the beautiful environment you are in.
– After all of these, comes adaptation. This comes when you are used to the environment when you realise you love travelling with your friends and are actually experiencing all the dreams and thoughts you had all along while planning to study abroad. Then, you will start to feel at home again.
Pratik is working towards a master in Business Analytics at UL.