Studying as an International Student

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Life as an international student has its perks. You get to go on an adventure to a new place! Maybe a place you’ve been dreaming about for years. You tell all of your friends and your family, you pack, and you head off to your new future.

At first, things seem incredible! You’re thrilled with the new land and culture, the houses and the different foods. After a while, loneliness and homesickness can set in. If you don’t speak the language, you can feel even more isolated in situations where you have to work on group projects or struggling with a new language. It’s quite common for many people to despair when they’re in a new country for the first time. It’s totally normal to feel lonely and a little confused in a new place. There are some ways to combat these feelings for international students. If you’re having difficulty, read on!

1. Theatre

This may seem like a strange suggestion on the face of it but getting involved in a theatre group can really help you learn more about the new culture. It’s a fantastic way to make friends as well as improve your language skills. It also gives you scheduled times when you know you’ll have company and you can enjoy meeting new people. There are many acting programs for international students available, whether it’s through a school directly or a student club. This brings us to the next idea…

2. Join a Club

Do you love martial arts? Are you a passionate debater? Do you enjoy painting? There are clubs in every city and town, especially at the universities, that you can join. You’ll be able to make new friends and have something to look forward to besides your studies during the week. You may even find yourself participating in competitions! It will take your mind off your homesickness and help you fit in to your new home.

3. Pubs

There are often pubs that students frequent, whether on-campus or off, in cities all over the world. Find out where students hang out in your area and go there! There’s no need to drink to excess to enjoy the company of others, and even if you’re not a drinker, these can be great sources of entertainment and meeting other people. You may even find that you’ll have a regular meetup night with the friends you make there.

4. Cafes

For those who aren’t inclined towards pubs, there are usually student cafes on campus where people congregate. This is a great opportunity to make friends. If your campus is small and doesn’t really have a cafe where people hang out, check out the local coffee shops. There are bound to be people there, and even if you aren’t able to meet anyone, you can at least feel surrounded by people so you don’t feel quite so alone.

Living overseas is always difficult at first. You keep running into things you’re not accustomed to, and the world seems very strange. However, after a while you’ll start feeling more comfortable in your adopted home. You never know; you may eventually even decide that you’d like to stay in that new country forever.

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