Life abroad is very difficult especially when you feel and act like an alien. But worry not we are here to help! Here are some basic life hacks students should generally follow when they are studying abroad, to make life much easier for them, make the best out of their experience, and have fun all at the same time.
Communication is King
The most important tool for you to not feel like an outsider is communication. Don’t be shy, talk to everyone and anyone, it will develop your language skills, you will hear amazing stories, you will build a network of relationships, and you might even learn some fascinating things that can have an impact on your life. Also, tell people your story, share ideas over a cup of coffee, or go for a walk, not only will you meet different people, but you will also learn the streets and know your way around much faster.
Read, read and read some more.
Read, as blunt as this word sounds. Seriously, read a lot, whether the daily newspaper, books from your campus library, online articles, whatever comes your way and seems to have useful information, read it. You will actually be fascinated by the amount of useful information you will be acquiring, and learning things you had never heard of before. It will help you develop immensely, and will allow you to communicate better with people, as mentioned in part 1.
Do something different
The first thing that comes to mind when you travel abroad, or to a foreign country, is to go partying, following the footsteps of the general public and trying your best to fit in. However, if you are into doing something different than the usual stuff, go for it! You are in a new country, no one knows you, no one will judge you, and you will most definitely find people with mutual interests as yourself. If you are into a certain sport, go for it, apply to your University’s team, practice it, and be your best at it. It will also help you with your communication skills and help you build a stronger and bigger network of friendships.
When in Rome…
You will always refer back to your cultural background or traditions, and this is not wrong, but given that you live in a foreign country, you have to respect their culture and traditions. To make things easier, act like one, you might be surprised at how wonderful their traditions may be, it will also help you blend in with people much faster, and grant you respect among the community. Just as the saying goes: “When in Rome, Do as Romans Do…”
In conclusion, communication is key to living abroad, and as you can see, everything mentioned is interrelated. Everything goes back to communication, which is the most important tool for you in your social experience abroad. Being abroad gives you a chance to experience a whole new way of life so make the most of it, discover and try new things that you might not have considered before and most importantly, communicate.