5 Practical Tips For International Students

Studying abroad is becoming an increasingly popular option as young adults look to spread their wings and experience a new culture, whilst securing an important qualification.  Making such a huge choice can result in many benefits, from learning a new language to discovering a love for a new sport.  

However, uprooting from your homeland to go and live abroad can be daunting for even the most adventurous individual and many often struggle to adapt in the first few months.  If you are a student considering moving abroad to undertake study you should take on board our five tips below which should help make the practical side of student life a little bit easier.

Familiarise yourself with the area

Before moving to a new country it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the area in which you will be living.  Once you have got the address for your new accommodation, print a map out of the surrounding area that also includes the location of the university or college at which you will be studying.  If it is close enough to walk to then you can plan the route which you will take and highlight it on the map.  If you are going to have to use public transport then do some research and find out which bus routes or train lines get you to your place of study.  It is also a good idea to print off any timetables you might need.  Finally, you may even want to make use of Google Maps and zoom right down to street level to do a little virtual exploring.  This way when you do arrive the area will be somewhat familiar to you and less overwhelming.

Making friends

Most students that live together will form strong friendships.  However, there is no guarantee that you will get along with your housemates and you should also look further afield for friendship.  Upon on arrival at university or college, do some research into the different clubs and societies that are run at the establishment, before enrolling to the ones that interest you.  Even if you don’t keep attending the meetings or events, it will give the opportunity to meet a wider spectrum of students in your first few weeks and hopefully make some connections.

Get in the kitchen

Having to cook their own food is a big culture shock for many students who are away from home for the first time.  As a result many end up turning to takeaways and ready cooked meals from the supermarket.  This is of course an expensive option and when you are living on a budget every penny counts.  In the weeks and months before you leave your home country it is a wise move to ask your parent to teach you how to cook.  Build up knowledge of a few dishes that are easy enough to master and practice by preparing meals for your parents and any siblings.  Also write down the recipe for each meal and instructions on how to prepare it.

Staying in touch

Whilst away from home there is a good chance that you are going to miss your friends and family.  Homesickness can be especially problematic in the first few months, but will usually ease off as you settle into your surroundings and make good friends.  In order to stave off the desire to return home it is essential to stay in regular contact with your loved ones.  Make sure you email them all regularly, keeping them up to date with your life, including a few photographs and ask them to do the same for you.  You should also set up a Skype account so that you can talk to everyone back home for free, as well as being able to see them via a webcam.  It is surprising just how big a difference seeing people back home can have on your spirits
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Storage

As you get towards the end of the school term you will of course be looking forwards to returning home for the summer.  However, in most instances you will be faced with the task of finding somewhere new to live for the next academic year.  This of course causes the problem of where to store your belongings over the summer period.  In order to ensure that you possessions are kept safe you may want to consider renting some space in a local self storage facility.  Most providers will offer the opportunity to rent a storage area for a reasonable amount.  Contracts tend to work on a weekly basis; meaning you aren’t tied to returning on a certain date and can move your property once you have accommodation sorted out.  Be sure to do a little research before renting your storage space to make sure that the facility is both secure and well protected from the elements, to avoid loss or damage to your belongings.
5 Practical Tips For International Students 5 Practical Tips For International Students Reviewed by Sandipan Chakraborty on February 22, 2012 Rating: 5
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