5 MISTAKES STUDENTS MAKE WHILE STUDYING ABROAD
Studying abroad is a big step for even the most seasoned people. You’ll be inundated by brand new cultures, indecipherable languages, and unknown people. It may not be easy to grasp all the nuances which can lead to homesickness, boredom, and aloofness. Interacting with the city you live in and the people who occupy that city is an enriching experience that everyone should have. Don’t let fear get in your way of undertaking a new adventure. Living abroad is exactly that. An adventure. Every day, you’ll be faced by new obstacles and opportunities. Instead of cowering into your own walls, take it as a chance to learn and grow.
Western nations have so much to offer to students not only in education but also in cultural enrichment. The new locales, new customs and habits, quirky mannerisms, alluring architecture, and a romantic language to learn can turn any Anglophone into an explorer. Every street, every corner holds new surprises for the students. Things they will never have imagined before. Different countries have different experiences to offer. Have a beer on a moving bar in Amsterdam, catch the bird’s eye view of the city on the eye in London, go mushroom hunting in France.
To be thrown into an unfamiliar environment can be daunting and stressful for every student. But it is up to them to make the best of it. Immersing yourself in the city, without any mental and physical barriers is the perfect way to turn the stress into a lovely story.
Here are the most common mistakes that students should avoid to get the most out of their foreign journey.
NOT LEARNING THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
If you are not studying in an English speaking nation, consider taking up a preparatory course of the local language. Achieving fluency takes years but it is not necessary to converse. Learn a few common phrases by heart. Talk to the locals in their language. Even if you struggle to pronounce words or are grammatically wrong, the locals will appreciate the effort. Language allows you to experience the culture first hand, without translation. So don’t be scared to order a French press in French the next time you are out.
BEING FRIENDLY ONLY WITH THE STUDENTS FROM YOUR OWN COUNTRY
This is the most common mistake students do. Interacting with your own countrymen in a foreign land gives you a false sense of comfort and homeliness. There’s a difference between being surrounded by Indians and meeting one once in a while. Don’t lose out on the opportunity to learn the native tongue from your own native friends. They can teach you all the cultural intricacies as well as the lingual slang in a no-stress environment. You may be most comfortable around your own people, but studying abroad is all about stepping out of your comfort zone.
NOT LIVING WITH A HOST FAMILY
Only a few universities offer this, but if yours does then grab this chance with both hands. A host family can be your window into the local way of life. They can give you a sense of belonging in foreign land. Since most host families are very friendly and experienced, they can help you learn your way around. They are well versed with most struggles faced by a foreign student. Additionally, you can also eat at their table and experience authentic cuisine regularly.
SPENDING A LOT OF TIME AT STARBUCKS AND McDONALDS
These mega fast food chains are spread all over the world. Since students are familiar with their food and style, they flock them all the time. The best way to relish authentic local food is by stepping out of your comfort zone and visiting the roadside cafes and pubs. They are delicious and light on the pocket. Order some of their specials and truly enjoy a shawarma or a ravioli casserole. Every city has its own specialty. Some are famous for their whiskey, some for their home brewed beer, some for their aromatic strains of coffee, and yet others for their ice cream.
FAILING TO LEARN LOCAL CUSTOMS AND MANNERS
If you really want to interact with locals and make some lifelong friends, you should be crisp with local mannerisms. For example, if you don’t smile at passersby in USA, it can be considered rude. While in some countries, smiling can be construed as creepy. It is always best to either research online or ask a friend about these quirks. As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. If you want to be accepted as one of them, being well acquainted with local customs is the way to go. This also puts the locals at ease and dismisses their qualms about you.
Do not let your inhibitions come in the way of maximizing your growth while studying abroad. Loosen up a little and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience.
If you wish to know more about the dos and don’ts of studying abroad, then contact the study abroad consultants in Jaipur.