Finding your way in a new environment, fitting in, the pressure to do well, graduate and get a good job – it’s the many pieces of the puzzle students must figure out when they’re overseas.
Adjusting to student life abroad is not just about becoming accustomed to the country’s culture and lifestyle, but also about learning to adapt to a different education system. Here are some tips on studying abroad.
Step out of your comfort zone
You’re in a new place, and everything is strangely different, but remember that you’re in a new country full of wonderful possibilities and opportunities. Step out of your comfort zone, and do things you normally wouldn’t do; be it joining different kinds of clubs at Uni, hanging out with new friends, or trying out different things – try your hand at everything! I guess the quote “You Only Live Once” would make the best sense here.
Melbourne is a cultural hub of different nationalities and ethnicities so check out the city and all it offers – You never know what you might find; for all you know you could actually discover more about yourself when you’re living in a foreign country.
Try new food and drink!
Prior to coming to Melbourne, I did not drink coffee at all, but after being in Melbourne for more than two years, I now know how much I’ve been missing out on. I also understand how much Melbournians LOVE their coffee. Love might even be an understatement. Try, need.
Case in point: if there was a coffee IV-drip option, you can count on the fact that Melbournians would be the first in line.
P.S/ Melbourne’s coffee will ruin you. There is no going back to shit coffee once you’ve tasted Melbourne’s best, and nothing will ever come close. You have been warned.
Let’s not forget about the brunches they serve here. I could have breakfast for every meal of the day, except that that would eventually mean burning a hole in my pocket.
Take a roady!
Melbourne is a beautiful place, with breath-taking sceneries. Grab a few friends, rent a car, and leave the city for a day out in the country. Step foot on squeaky sand beaches at Wilson’s Promontory, visit the brightly coloured iconic bath houses at Brighton Beach, or take a short drive out to Mornington for some wine and cheese tasting.
Tip: Since you’re already in Aussie Land, you might as well visit the neighboring countries. Save enough money, and plan a trip to New Zealand during your Mid-semester break, or if your bank account is feeling rather slim, why not try Sydney, Perth, or Brisbane? What better way to unwind from a busy semester?
Take on an internship to prepare you for the working world
Planning to get some real-life working experience while you’re currently in Uni? Taking on an internship while you are overseas is one way to resume-build and grow your portfolio. Here are some information and useful on tips to land an internship. Most importantly, besides gaining all that invaluable experience, remember to have fun while you’re at work.
Also, if you’re thinking of staying on in hopes of landing a job after you’ve graduated, the experience would definitely be an added bonus.
It’s okay to miss home once in a while. As an international student, you are entitled to miss all the things you love and not know how to deal with it.
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Remember to call home to talk to friends and family. Call Mum to let her know you are doing okay and that you are eating well, and let dad know you’ve now learned how to change a lightbulb on your own. Connect to the people who you love back home, and keep those people close to you, because they’re the people who’ll bring you through the good and bad times.
In a new culture and environment, it will definitely take a bit of time for new students to find their place. There will be times of success and hardship but the promise of a world-class education and the opportunities that arise from being an independent young adult in a new country can often make up for those difficulties. With that said, it is important to keep an open mind and a positive attitude during this adjustment period.
Try to make the most out of your education while you are studying abroad. You might eventually learn to call this foreign land, your home.