(photo credit http://bit.ly/1viGSig)
It’s easy enough to make sure you have everything in your bag! But there is so much more to think about if you are an international university student.
For many people University is the goal, particularly if you are an ESL learner, your university degree will be your ticket to the world. Saying that, you will need to remember these important points before you get yourself on that plane:
- Are you’re the first person in your family to attend university?
If the answer is yes, even more congratulations to you and in English too! Wow. But understand that there will be a lot of pressure on you from your family to do well…don’t forget to give yourself some down time to enjoy yourself while the pressure is on.
- Are you on a scholarship or are you working for your studies?
If you are on a scholarship you are lucky in some ways, but then again, that scholarship does give you a lot of pressure. Also if you are working your way through, this can be a great way to get experience to use your English in more ways than academic, plus get a taste of that new world culture you are living in….Even if you are on a scholarship try some part time work just to push yourself English that bit further, but don’t forget your studies!
3. Get ready for homesickness:
If you are the first one to leave your home for another country, your family may never understand how it is for you over there. You may miss them dearly and/or they will miss you too. Make sure you skype regularly and let them know what it is like over there. They want to know that you are okay. As soon as you start crying over the skype it will make things even worse. Keep that part to yourself and just let them know you are coping. That’s all you and they need to know.
- The student visa issue:
There may be some other non-academic issues that will stress you out….student visas. Never fear and always ask. You will know from the start if you are allowed a visa or if there are going to be any complications. Always follow the rules and be patient and follow the immigration officers instructions, they know a lot more than you and will want to help you.
- Culture shock may knock you back a bit:
If you find yourself losing interest in your studies, wanting to sleep all the time and not wanting to socialize, you could be suffering from culture shock. If that is the case don’t worry, just persevere and it will pass, if it becomes a problem make sure you link yourself with other new international students like you and try to speak to someone. What you are going through is nothing new and there will always be someone there to listen. The last thing you want to think about is leaving and going back to your country, no one wants that, least of all your family!
So are you ready?
All the best!
- 10 things I wish I’d known before going to University
- The Complete University guide, Preparing to go
- How to survive university
- Are too many people going to University?