What Problems do Students Face in their Initial Days and What are their Solutions?
8 Major Problems and their Solutions
Feeling Home Sick
A study found that roughly half of the students studying abroad reported experiencing homesickness at some point. Homesickness can lead to an increased desire to contact family and friends back home or to check in on them online, but this can detract from the study abroad experience and cause students to disengage from their new community.
To combat homesickness, it is helpful to participate in new activities, and to limit the frequency of calls and social media engagement with family and friends back home. This may mean calling home once a week or every other week and limiting the time spent on social media.
Different Food Habits
While I was studying abroad, one individual struggled with finding food that their stomach could tolerate. This was so severe that they had to switch housing to live with a family that could cater to their dietary restrictions. As people's food sensitivities vary, it is advisable to research the local cuisine before the program and to inquire with the study abroad program if you have any concerns about your diet.
If you are choosy with your food choices, it can be tempting to seek out the closest McDonald's or American-style restaurant. However, it is recommended to try as much of the local food as possible. Additionally, do not be shy to inquire about the ingredients of the food or drinks
Feeling lonely or left-out
It can be argued that while individual exploration can be enjoyable, creating memories with a group one feels comfortable with can also be rewarding. It can be difficult to find a large group to socialize with, as many individuals' peers may have vastly different interests.
it may be easier for an individual to form deeper connections with others in a more intimate setting, rather than in a group setting. Therefore, one may seek to spend time with people one-on-one. Additionally, it is possible to make friends outside of one's study abroad community through other activities. Finding people to socialize with should not be limited to one's study abroad program, but it's important to remember to prioritize safety as you would back home.
It is common to experience feelings of uncertainty or unfulfilled emotional needs when adjusting to a new community. In such situations, it can be helpful to seek the guidance and support of a close friend or family member.
If students believe counselling would be helpful, they should consider seeking it out. Reach out to Masterclass Space for the best mentorship.
Difficulty in quickly learning and using the local language.
Being fully immersed in a foreign language for the first time through studying abroad can be challenging and overwhelming. It is common to feel like progress in learning the language is slower than desired.
Aside from maintaining patience and self-assurance, there are several steps one cans take to accelerate the process of learning a foreign language. A common obstacle to fluency is the excessive use of one's native language. To overcome this, students should try to minimize their use of their native language, even in their leisure time, such as when browsing social media.
Managing Time becomes A Task
When you settle into a routine while studying abroad, it can be easy to feel like you are running out of time. With the demands of exploring new places, attending classes, and participating in extracurricular activities, it can be challenging to manage the energy and time necessary to accomplish everything you desire.
Achieving balance can be done by creating a weekly schedule that outlines all of your commitments. If you find that a certain task or activity is causing excessive stress, it may be best to remove it from your schedule. Additionally, it's important to remember that being busy all the time isn't something to be admired, especially when you're in a new and exciting place. It's perfectly okay to take some time for yourself and relax.
Poor Grades are a big Demotivation
Problem: When studying abroad, the excitement of exploring new places can cause us to prioritize it over our studies and neglect our classwork and grades. This can be especially tempting when classes are easier than at our home campus, leading us to procrastinate on assignments with the belief that we can still perform well despite the delay.
To achieve academic success while also enjoying the study abroad experience, it is recommended to complete assignments in a timely manner and avoid missing classes, as this can negatively impact grades.
Funds are Always an Issue
When studying abroad, the temptation to purchase various items such as souvenirs, transportation, and event tickets can be high. However, this can lead to financial issues as most students will not have the opportunity to work a part-time job in their new location, making it more likely to run out of money.
A strategy to control overspending while studying abroad is to limit the amount of cash you bring when you go out and leave your debit or credit card at home. Additionally, using a budgeting or expense-tracking app on your phone can help you see where your money is being spent and make more informed financial decisions.
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