Studying abroad can be exciting, fulfilling and a great way to explore other cultures; but it can also be difficult, and many students drop out before completing their course. Challenges abound; how do you cope with a totally different language, country, and way of life?
Here are some sensible ideas and tips to help those embarking on their studies overseas.
Consult a migration agent
This is probably the most important tip to note. Whatever country you're planning on attending university in, you will need to successfully apply for a student visa before you can begin your studies there. A migration agent, such as those at Fisa Pty Ltd, will know their way through the minefield of paperwork that will need to be completed for your visa, ensuring there are not costly mistakes or hold ups.
Check out classes that include local culture
Many courses offer optional trips and field visits. These off-site excursions present a great opportunity to explore aspects of the country you would never get to see on your own, with a knowledgeable guide and your classmates.
You could also join a club run by the university you're attending or get involved in a sporting activity. Both these ideas will help you form a new network of local friends and acquaintances. Don't be afraid to chat with other students in your class, even if you're not fluent in the language. The best way to learn is through practice and the natives will appreciate the fact that you've made an effort, even if there are a few comedy moments along the way!
Just because you don't speak the language fluently, don't just sit back and be excluded. Many programs offer opportunities to get to know local students through sport, trips or conversation sessions. If you can't find anything like this advertised on college notice boards or online, ask your tutors. Chances are that your tutors will be pleased to arrange something if you show that you're enthusiastic and keen to learn.
It's also a good idea to try and learn at least a little of the language before you go abroad to start your studies. At least then you won't feel quite so isolated.
Jobs and internships
If you can get a job or internship whilst you are studying abroad, this will serve you well for the future. You will not only gain invaluable work experience which will look great on your résumé, but you'll also widen your circle of contacts and earn a little money into the bargain. A good source of information for placement and job opportunities can be found through the college's international student centre.
Enjoy your studies abroad and use these tips to make it a wonderful, fulfilling experience which you'll always treasure.