Studying abroad is a transformative experience. Changes become a part of your day-to-day existence to create a brand new version of you. The journey of foreign education is akin to a fun, exciting, yet bumpy ride with a series of emotions and experiences thrown in between. Everything suddenly feels new. Waking up on one’s own, performing day-to-day tasks, managing classes, and assignments, keeping track of one’s eating habits, and hanging out with new people in a new city – all of it bring an adrenaline rush like nothing else.
Dawn of a new day
Waking up to the startling reality that you are all alone in a faraway land – is a feeling that you get used to, eventually. Listening to your parents’ incessant reminders about how careful you need to be in the new place, can get nerve-racking. However, you know it’s only their concern that’s bothering them. The jarring sound of an alarm clock can be just as dreadful as it was before and sometimes you do miss waking up to the pleasant voice of your loved ones. Soon enough, you begin to feel independent and start enjoying the feeling. Most importantly, you finally learn to appreciate the value of time when you study abroad. Since waking up early in the morning and heading forward with a packed schedule all by yourself becomes a necessity, you have no choice but to become disciplined.
Managing in the new city
A city that felt strange and unknown just a few months back begins to feel like home. The roads and alleys that used to look scary and unfamiliar, start to become a part of your everyday routine. The shortcuts to the university leave an imprint in your soul and your favourite diner now knows your preferences. Adjusting to new norms and methods of travel can be a little intimidating, but if you look at it closely, studying in abroad is similar to your first driving lesson. You press the brake a lot harder, you are nervous at every bend but once you get the hang of it, it’s a whole lot of fun. Likewise, the new country slowly begins to grow on you, a country that will be your home for the next few years, maybe more.
Coping with changes
When you move to a different country, everything changes in every dimension. From climate to cultural norms to career change and demography, to even minute details like the way you use the toilet, and your cleaning habits – a new way of life greets you. Managing everything within the resources available is better than aiming for the life of luxury you had back home. Resource management is another lesson you master, as you spend time in a foreign land. Organizing amenities, and performing basic tasks such as cleaning your place, doing laundry, etc. Become an integral part of a student’s life. Even when it comes to food habits, one has to adjust to the new flavours available which may or may not suit your taste buds. Nonetheless, as change is the only constant, you will find yourself adapting to changes every day. Getting used to the commute, usage of public transportation, and following new traffic rules are some of the new challenges which come with the territory of being a student in a foreign country.
The portal of learning
Ah, the most important part of the whole journey is the university! Imagine the thrill a student gets when they pursue their dreams in a place filled with a completely different set of individuals. The teachers, though intimidating at first, start feeling similar to the ones you had before. They just have a new set of stories and experiences to share with you. The difference in the social and cultural spectrum of people brings about a new perspective. Your knowledge evolves as you are now looking at your subjects through a different lens. The university starts to feel like home just as your school did, as time passes. A student’s first day at school can be scary and stressful with new faces everywhere. However, as every new thing brings with it new hopes and novel insights, so does your life abroad.
When you studying abroad then managing in a dorm or a residence can feel too much to take in, especially if you haven’t ever stayed in a shared space. Meeting people from completely different backgrounds becomes an inevitable part of student life. You learn about the various cultural boundaries of people from different parts of the globe. New friendships are created starting from your own roommate to the people you share your classes with, to even people living in the neighbourhood. One starts to get involved in various social activities such as social nights, city exploration, mini-vacations with friends around the country, and more. The magical feeling of finding things you didn’t even know existed and taking away a souvenir or two of your memories are some of the best things. The best part is that you amass experiences that become a part of your life story.
It is natural for a student to miss home. There can be nights when one has trouble falling asleep and mornings when one doesn’t feel like getting up. Piled-up things do get a little hard to handle, but then you see how far you have come. That’s what keeps you going. It’s so overwhelming when you suddenly realize that you are living the dream you had visualized as a 15 year old. You can take pride in realizing who you’ve become – a more independent, responsible, and better version of yourself.
A bit scary, a bit fun – studying abroad is everything rolled into one. At the end of the day, the extra edge that a student studying abroad earns on the way to creating their career path makes it all worth it.
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