Even after getting an admit from a top foreign university, your international education dream may come crashing down.
An estimated 40% of Indian students in foreign universities remain isolated from other students and struggle to effectively handle financial, cultural, social and academic pressures. Some of these students are so depressed that they give up their education half-way through.
You have to get mentally prepared for the cultural shock that awaits you at your new campus.
Here are some insights that may help you find your bearing:
Accepting change Your new minority status can be overwhelming. So, observe and adapt. You have not come to a foreign school to just get grades and a degree but also for a global experience. Right?
Get out of your “comfort zone” We tend to stick to the familiar. Open up! Make a conscious effort to mix with locals. Join study groups, involve yourself in departmental activities, go out for social outings, attend parties, have a foreigner as a roommate. In short, be participative and find common interests.
Respect their culture Have a genuine interest to know the surroundings. For example, in America a simple “how are you” is just a greeting rather than a way to start a long conversation. So don’t be offended. Take an initiative to invite your American friends for a lunch and serve them your cuisine. Mutual exchange of interesting culture is sure fun!
Be focused Let attributes of locals like fair skin, well groomed, luxurious lifestyle make you not feel inferior. Of course imbibe the good stuff but have clarity and focus on the objective of your being in a Foreign land. Always be proud of your individuality and don’t blindly ape anyone.
Speech Even students who have always studied in an English medium face problem in communication owing to the foreign accent. Have a neutral accent! Don’t mind repeating yourself umpteen number of times and also be a patient listener.
Get ready boy .. it’s not over till it’s over!
One last thing: A good sense of humor is often an ideal ice-breaker.
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