A Guide to Studying Overseas

So, you’re about to take the leap to become an international student? You’re not the only one… Today there are more than 5 million students living outside of their home country (Source: ICEF), and this number increases every year.

But why? And what do you need to know to prepare for your time away?

Why go?

You’re not only about to start a new chapter of life, with the big transition to university, but you’re also going to experience a new country, meet new people, absorb new surroundings, and perhaps even learn a new language. That’s a whole lot of new!

If that isn’t enough to inspire and excite you, the University of California have put together some impressive findings on the long-term benefits of studying overseas, including:

  • 96% of students claimed to have increased self-confidence
  • 80% of students better adapted to diverse working environments
  • The students were also twice as likely to find a job
  • These students obtained jobs with higher starting salaries

All looking good so far? But, before you pack your bags and get on that plane, we’ve put together 3 quick tips for studying abroad.

3 Quick Tips for Studying Abroad:

  1. Create a home away from home
    However temporary it feels to start – it’s important to establish your home away from home. Besides working out the logistics of where to live, you’ll also need to investigate where to get your shopping, where to exercise and where to catch up with friends. All these things can seem so simple when at home, but they become some of the most important research starting points when moving to a new city.Once you establish yourself in your new community it will feel a lot more like home. Then – you’ll be able to focus on creating a routine where you can balance your time between work, rest and play.
  2. Develop a social network
    Plug yourself into different groups that interest you. Such as sporting groups or special interest groups. This is a great way to meet new people and make new friends.While home is always only a phone call away, it’s important to also make friends in the country that you live. Having friends that share the same experiences (all of the ups and downs) is one of the most useful tools you can find for processing, sharing and enjoying the overseas study experience.
  3. Immerse yourself in the culture
    It can feel easy to stick to what you know. While there’s nothing wrong with sourcing out some of your home comforts, ensure you also try out how the locals live. How do they get around? What do they eat? Do they speak another language? What do they enjoy doing on their weekends?Remember this is a once in a lifetime experience and a time of your life that you’ll always look back on. Make the most of each day you have. Even the hard days will make you stronger and help you to grow. Above all – during your experience keep the great quote by Muhammad Ali at the front of your mind – “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”

Written by Amba Brown, Australia Positive Psychology Author of The Finding Your Path Series (findingyourpathbooks.com)

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