Studying overseas can be something that can make a lot of people feel uncertain and maybe even scared, but by talking to someone or reading about others experiences, can bring relief to the feeling of uncertainty. To this day, I hear at least once a week someone telling me that they would never be able to do what I am doing, but really, am I doing something totally different from anyone else? No. I’m actually not. I might be studying in a different country than where I was born and in a different language than my first language, but I still have the same study load, assessment types, and classes that my friends have back in Sweden at their university and college. However, I do understand that there is a lot more for me to think of as an international student since there are visas, health covers, and just everyday life that most teenagers and young adults living at home take for granted. I know I certainly took a lot for granted when I lived with my parents at home! Things like having someone cook dinner and someone else (aka mum) do my laundry. Luckily, I knew how to do all of these “choirs”, but there are things we might not think contribute to our everyday life before moving away from home.
So these are my five tips for some easy and simple things that can help make the transition to studying overseas a little bit easier based on my own experience.
This is a major one and very important because you will learn so much by asking people around you. It can be your agency, college, current/previous student, or whoever you feel might be able to answer your questions. Remember, there are no stupid questions 😊
An easy one to say, but a difficult one to do! It can be overwhelming and stressful the first time away from home, but taking it one day at the time or even week at the time can help so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. One day you will wake up and feel like everything feels right.
Don’t feel anxious over not being fluent in the language the first week or even month!
It can take some time before it clicks in the brain that you need to talk a different language, and for me, it took around a month before I reduced my ‘Swenglish’ and shook of the weirdness about talking in English instead of Swedish.
Meal plan and prep
An easy and boring thing to be honest, BUT so important! Good nutrition is important to feel good, so spend some time planning and prepping your meals and it will not feel like a choir. It will save you heaps of time during your week when you have other things on your mind.
I am not sure of other colleges or universities, but at ACPE there is a service provided; Student Learning Services (SLS), where I can check referencing, grammar, or if I am stuck on a word and cannot find the ‘right’ synonym. They provide almost whatever assistance you might need when writing your assignment. They have certainly help me shake off a little bit of the stress because I know there is someone that can assist me if there is something I don’t know how to do.
My favourite quote is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, which is what overseas studies are (if you ask me). So I hope that one of these tips can be helpful for you if you’re thinking of studying or already are studying overseas 😊