Moving away from home can be difficult for both local and international students and I hope that this sharing will benefit all who took the courage to move to another state in the pursuit of knowledge,
I am Hema, and I moved to Malaysia to study Biotech from Mauritius. For myself, being thousands of miles away from home, life as an international student in a foreign land can be both distressing and exciting.
As a matter of fact, humans are curious by nature; exploring a new culture, trying out new foods, experiencing a new social atmosphere or even speaking a foreign language is adventuresome but at the same time, it implies stepping out of one’s comfort zone.
However, this is important for a student to learn the country’s culture and traditions at the same time adapting to it.
Me at the airport excited to embark on a new journey!
Being a university student is a challenge itself, but being an international student is a whole different story. As an international student, I can assure you that it was not easy to let go of a life which I was familiar with and dive into the unknown, but it was a risk that I took, and it did help me grow in many ways. I have also witnessed a new way of life here in Malaysia rich in cultural diversity.
By living on my own, I’ve learned to manage my finances, prepare my meals, deal with chores before they get out of hand, time management and the list goes on. This has helped immensely in my personal development especially in bringing out my independent nature.
The whole process speeds the transition of being a teenager to a responsible adult. Even though the idea of being in an unknown land sounds overwhelming, it tests our ability to adapt to different unfamiliar situations. This has helped me change my view of my surroundings and adapt better. In this line of thought, the opportunity to study abroad can be seen as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
HOMESICKNESS AND ITS ROOTS
While the driving factor to study abroad is “The change”, the most common struggle faced by international students is homesickness which is a nostalgic feeling more prevalent in the first few months.
STEP 1: SCHEDULE CALLS
To overcome this, it is more practical to schedule a time for calls that is suitable for both parties. Thanks to the technological advancements, friends, and family can be our support system in times of need since they are only a phone call away even if they are at opposite ends of the globe. In addition to that, different time zones can prove to be tricky.
STEP 2: REVISIT YOUR PURPOSE
I should also admit that the first months as an international student almost feels like a vacation as one may over-indulge in exploring the new environment. In such times it is important to take a pause and think about the reason we came to the study destination in the first place.
STEP 3: DEVELOP HABITS
A routine can prove to be helpful to keep us in line as we pursue healthy endeavors.
Ironically, studying abroad can be both the scariest and best experience for international students. This bittersweet experience can be an eye-opener in discovering who you really are. As the saying goes on “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” After all, every move forward in life begins with a leap of faith and a step into the unknown.