A Student Guide to Surviving while Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences but for some students it can also present challenges along the way. In this blog, Student Ambassador Pratik talks about his experience, the challenges he faced as an international student and offers students his tips on how to overcome these obstacles to make the most out of your time while studying in Ireland.

Studying abroad sounds so interesting. It means coming to a new place, meeting new people, and settling in a totally different environment. It is an exciting opportunity for those who are open to change and new experiences. You travel to different places, learn about new cultures, taste amazing food and many more exciting adventures. Studying abroad is a unique experience and I believe every student should undergo this at least once in their lifetime. This is very important for personal development and brings in adaptability to change. But… (there is always a but) all this can be overwhelming, and you might even start having second thoughts after reaching your new university. Many students find it a bit difficult living far from home as it exposes them to an abundance of responsibilities which they are unsure of handling. Let’s discuss some of the experiences or adaptations you might face moving to a new country.

  1. Culture Shock:
    • There are many culture shocks that you will witness when you move to a new country. Like, in India vehicles do not stop for pedestrians to cross the road but here in Ireland, pedestrians are given priority and the vehicles will stop when they see that you are trying to cross a road. This was a surprise to me.
    • Other one is Gaelic football; in which you dribble like a basketball, pass like a volleyball, and shoot like a football. That was a very unique concept when I found out.  
    • You may find a smaller number of people around if you are coming from an extremely populated area like India. In such case, don’t be scared to go someplace with people instead, be in contact with close friends, family and acquaintances through video calls and make them familiar with the place so that you feel more comfortable adapting to the roads and routes.
  1. Motivation and inspiration: – When you are new and you see that everything is so different from home, either you might have a sudden realization of the change that you have gone through, or you might feel that this is the best decision you have ever made. Keeping yourself motivated constantly throughout the course is very important. Try reading about some major accomplishments people have made in your field of study and apply a research approach to the projects you would like to focus on.
Here is a snapshot of the lush green campus at UL.
  1. Homesickness: – After a while, when you are settled in, you might experience the fear of missing out (FOMO) with the important family events and gatherings. This is normal and this is easier to pass as you have some known people around you who share the same feelings as you. Sit with them, talk to them about the culture shocks and enjoy the beautiful environment you are in.
  1. Adaptation: – After all of the above stated things, comes adaptation when you are used to the environment, love travelling with your friends and actually experience all the dreams and thoughts you had all along while planning to study abroad. You will start feeling at home again.

Meet Pratik, the student behind the blog

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