Student life is among the most interesting and challenging chapters of a person’s life. The number of things an average student learns, sees, and experiences, as well as the people they meet in a span of several years, can hardly be matched by any other chapter. This is taken to an even higher level with international students, those who participate in scholarship or exchange programs that see them studying in other countries. This practice has been the favorite among students for centuries, and it often allows the participants to learn more and have an edge when compared to their peers at home. However, these students have many challenges that almost all of them face as soon as they arrive in another country to continue their studies.
In the contemporary world, the most popular study abroad countries include the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Australia. Even students from these countries mostly prefer one of the others. On the other hand, the most common international students include young people from Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as many other countries whose native languages are completely different from English, and even European languages. In this
This article explores the five most common challenges faced by international students around the world. No matter where they are from or where they find themselves, each one of them is sure to experience at least several of these, so if you are a future international student, it is time to prepare yourself for what might come your way,
1. Cultural Shock
The idea of a cultural shock is definitely just a saying, as many people in your environment can confirm. In any foreign place, you visit there are going to be major differences in what you are used to back home. As soon as you step foot into another country, everything around you will be different which could lead to your excitement fading away quickly. Differences in tradition and culture are usually visible at every corner, and how people behave may really surprise you both positively and negatively. Different languages, strange new food, and unusual socializing practices may prove too hard to comprehend and master, especially at the start. The majority of students find it the hardest for the first couple of weeks, especially if it is their first time abroad. Integrating so many changes into your everyday life is not easy, but you should not worry too much about it. The best thing you can do is be yourself and try your hardest. Initiate communication as much as you can and do not be afraid of the natives judging you. Mistakes are bound to happen, so just be positive and try to make friends from the start. Young people of the world generally tend to think the same, meaning you can find friends anywhere.
2. Language Barrier
Closely connected to the cultural shock is the language barrier students usually experience. This is particularly hard for those coming from developed countries of the western civilizations, who predominantly speak either English, Spanish, French, or German at home. More often than not, these students do not feel as big of a need to start a second language. However, students from less developed and fortunate countries, like those in Eastern and Southern Europe, Africa, or Asia simply have to master at least one world language. Still, once they start talking to the natives in Canada or the USA for example, they may be shocked at how hard it is to keep a conversation with a native speaker. A moment of discouragement is sure to happen to most students, those who believe they are fluent in a language in particular. It is hard to achieve the level of a native speaker, and this should never be how you judge your language skills. If you are unsure, you can always prepare yourself in advance and take additional classes and work on your speaking and listening skills. It will boost your confidence and make you worry less about making mistakes!
3. Difficulties with Lectures and Tasks
Starting a new school can be a challenge even if you remain within the borders of your hometown, let alone half the world over. Differences in how subjects and topics are taught around the world are enormous, as are the general practices of schools, teachers, and the curriculum. This is why most international students cannot be ready or prepared to attend new lectures, something that often leads to a sense of low self-esteem. It is rarely the case of the students themselves who cannot comprehend what they do, leading to unnecessarily low grades. It takes time to get used to studying things in another language, from and with people foreign to you. Ask for help whenever you need it and try to share what you have with others. Your new peers will be willing to help you, and so will the teacher who knows full well you are an international student who needs some more attention!
4. Academic Writing
Academic writing is the dread and bane of most students, even for those studying their favorite subject in their native language. Some countries have strict guidelines on how it should be done, resulting in those larger than life tasks you have nightmares about, which stay in your mind no matter how much you practice. For an international student, it can be extremely hard to successfully write quality assignments that follow the standards of the university. The only way to become better at this is to practice, with as little stress as possible. Except for this, you can always consult with a paper writing service that will help you complete the hardest of tasks. For example, you could try paperwritingservice.com and pass your academic writing exams with excellence.
5. Managing Finances
Of course, managing your finances as a foreign student is among the hardest thing to achieve, especially on a limited scholarship budget you also have to use for your bills. It is very easy to spend money abroad because many things are often appealing to tourists and foreigners. You will want to travel around the country and explore it, try out the food, buy things you do not have at home, and immerse yourself in the tradition. This is all understandable, but your studies and the quality of life should always come first. If you really wish to do all this and still have leftover money for the basics, try starting a part-time job that will not take too much time and energy out of the rest of your day. Moreover, look for more affordable stuff, especially the things that are not that important to you. You could also cook your own meals from time to time, one of the best ways to save money no matter the occasion.