Finally! After a lot of effort put in by you and your family, you are ready to spread your wings and fly towards a new life. You must have a million expectations and dreams. You might also have some trepidation and worries because, for some of you, its the first time away from your family. It is definitely a monumental moment in your life. So I congratulate you on your bravery and confidence.
I want to share what I have experienced as a student in my first few months abroad.
I’m not saying everyone goes through the same experiences, as it differs from person to person. So the following are what you should probably expect:
- Honeymoon stage: Its like the first few months of your relationship where everything is all right and you are having the time of your life. The happiness and the sense of freedom will give you strength. You’ll be in awe of everyone and everything. The first few months will give you a lot of exposure to a culture very different from yours.
- Missing the Family stage: Just because you are in your happy place does not mean you will not miss your family. You might question your decision to study abroad. You might start thinking, is it really worth it? You might miss the familiarity and friendships you’ve left behind. Let me tell you something: THIS IS WORTH IT! You’ve come a long way from home with a goal in your mind. Your loneliness is a normal thing to feel in your first few days. But always remember why you are here and your purpose!
- Study Fear stage: Once the classes start, you will really start questioning everything. Its a whole different method than what you are used to. And it is a whole different accent too. BUT NEVER FEAR! Reach out for help from the Professors and your peers. The students are taken care of by the university and they have a lot of helpful study groups. In my University, UT Tyler, there is SI Tutoring, PASS tutoring, MATH tutoring and various study groups! There is always help found! All you have to do is ask. Don’t fear because the professor’s accent is difficult to comprehend or the coursework is too difficult to follow. Ask your seniors what they have done and how they finished the work! It is normal but you’ll get used to it!
- Broke Student Stage: This is one of the most common experience when you live alone and as a student. Many of us come here with the help of student loans and if we are unable to find an on-campus job, we have to ask our family to pay our rent, groceries etc., and you might feel bad. But remember. You are a student and when you graduate, you are going to be making money far more than what you are spending. You are going to pay back your loans and pay back you parents. Be patient and keep applying for On-campus jobs! Apply for internships!
- Traveling Stage: Once you are here for a few months, you will be bitten by the travel bug. I have heard that in the US, The international population is the most traveled group with in the country. So, Pack you bags to have fun! Also make a budget on how much you are wanting to spend and stick to it! It is easy to be swept on your feet when it comes to traveling. So make wise choices!
I am not saying everyone will feel the same way, But we might all have similar experiences! Share some of your experiences with me. And I hope everybody has a wonderful time during the course of your studies! And when you pack, Don’t forget to read: Shopping mistake you should avoid! Share and follow for your help your friends out!