College Practical Tips for International Students
Being a foreign student is not easy. You need to adjust not only to a new routine, but also to new surroundings, people, traditions, and norms. Here are a few practical tips on how you can adjust faster and feel less overwhelmed and frustrated.
Do Your Research
It’s always better when you are prepared for situations and events that you are going to be a part of. That’s why researching beforehand is crucial.
It’s much easier to decide on what you need to take with yourself and what skills or personal qualities you need to develop when you know something about the place you will be studying and living at. However, even when you have already moved to a foreign country, it’s important to continue your research on various spheres of life. So, it’s never too late to Google or ask local people about their city, customs, and useful services.
Observing local people and local life is one of the fastest ways to adapt and become more confident in a foreign country. It will not require much effort but will benefit you a lot.
Make sure to keep track of everyday life on the streets and on your campus – what people prefer to eat, which transport they use, what way they choose to greet each other, what their interests are, and what places they go to. Sometimes all you need to know about another culture can be obtained through observation.
There will be probably a lot of times when you will need to resist temptations. Once you arrive in a new country, you see a lot of new and cool things that you want to buy. Be patient and avoid emotional purchases – you need to learn more about prices and reliable shopping places first. You might find that purchasing online is much more beneficial while also making the most out of special deals and seasonal sales.
Moreover, you need to learn how to plan your budget and save money. The best option would be to do just like your mates and ordinary locals do – they might tell you about the best markets and grocery stores you should visit. There is nothing wrong with asking where your roommates buy their groceries – it’s also a great way to start a conversation and even make some friends in perspective.
Learn About Transportation System
Transportation is one of the most important things for a foreign student and it is crucial to learn as much about it in order to feel more or less confident about your new place of living. Do your research on what options you have – buses, trains, underground, etc. Maybe there is an option to rent a bicycle or a roller – anyways, you should know how to get to the places you need. Preferably cheap too. Anyways, becoming a transport expert definitely will not hurt as it will give you more confidence and freedom.
Don’t Forget About Safety
Even if you really love the country you move to, you should never forget that there might be some dangerous people and situations that you should avoid. Be sure to check some information about the neighborhood or district of your choice – what the key problems are and some possible warnings for travelers and foreign students. Remember, that low criminal rates don’t mean there are no criminal elements like thieves at all. Don’t leave your belongings unwatched and avoid accepting strangers’ invitations to go somewhere away from crowded areas.
You must also consider the cultural differences and learn about things you should and should not do in order to avoid conflicts with the locals. For example, in Japan, it’s rude to wear shoes indoors and it might offend the homeowner if you do so. It might not be a big thing for you, but a major detail for other people in the area. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand certain customs or unspoken rules.
It’s hard to stay abroad for a long time on your own. Homesickness and social discomfort might hit you hard even if you have never experienced anything like that. The best way to feel safer and less lonely is to make friends on campus or in your neighborhood. It will give you an opportunity to enjoy your stay, learn more about the local culture, and have someone to turn to in case you need help or advice. Finding friends on campus is the best option as it will allow you to clarify some details about the grading system or assignment rules. You can always contact your academic advisor of course, but sharing your emotions with someone who faces the same difficulties as you while studying is precious.
These are all of the practical tips for foreign students that we have for you for today. Make sure to leave your comment and let us know which tip you think we should add to the list or in case you would like to share your experience. Good luck!