Dec 7, 2011

Tips for Studying Abroad

Tips for Studying Abroad
Homesickness and frustration—that's what you might imagine about living so far away from home. The possibility of feeling sad because you're far away from family is one of the many reasons why making the decision to study abroad is very difficult. You'll be living independently and separately from your parents, missing your friends and family, not to mention being surrounded by unusual, unfamiliar things. Suddenly you feel like a fish out of water! This should not be a reason not to go, though, because it is your determination that counts.
Having made up your, mind, you'd better have a look first at the following info before taking off.

Get Involved
Studying abroad will be scary for sure, especially if you don't have any idea about the new environment you'll be living in. However, if you're willing to be part of it, you'll find that everybody is friendly, especially if you're set up with a host family. Once you've got friends to talk to you feel like you're at home.
Language incompetence can often be the stumbling block for you to get involved in your new surroundings. But don't let that stop you from getting out and meeting the people. Most people will be tolerant of hesitance in speaking, especially if you're a foreigner. And sometimes, if it gets bad enough, the person you're talking to will ask you to describe something using gestures.

Adjust Yourself
You would never know exactly what life is really like in a country whose culture you've never experienced directly. Simply 'knowing about’ another culture from reading, or perhaps having met a few people from the country where you'll study, however, is not the same thing as knowing what it really feels like to be learning and living there.
Regardless of where your going to live, there’s one thing you must do: lose any misleading stereotypes and prejudices about others that you may have! What you believe is true about some¬one from another country is probably only a misimpression. This means don't judge the customs or your host country based solely on your own prejudices. Just try to view things from the perspective of a native of your host country; it will help you adjust in your new environment. Finally, talk to people who have been there. You can contact the study abroad program sponsor and ask to speak to former participants. Some of your fellow students or colleagues may have been there also. Use their experiences to learn more and make the most of your time there.

Beat Your Homesickness
This is a biggie. During the first week or two in the host country, you'll undergo this typical cycle: an initial euphoria—state of pleasant excitement—followed by a dip into homesickness, then it goes up and down.
Feeling homesick is common, especially if you're in a country you've never been to. Just remember: during this time, don't decide you have to go home. Otherwise, you won't make it. You can actually talk about it to friends from your home country, if you have any, but chances are they're going through the same stuff. Still, it help you to feel at home and lessen your sentimentality. 

Mind Your Language Competency
Learning the language spoken in the country where you'll study is a must. Your foreign language ability is your primary means of immersing yourself in the host culture. As for English competency, if you decide to study in an English-speaking country, TOEFL or TOEIC can be used to measure your English ability. The level of language ability required varies greatly from program to program, but typically you're required to reach a TOEFL score of no less than 500.
Don't spend lots of time with other people from your country. You will at first, but hang out with natives or foreign students from other countries who don't speak your language. Your language skills will improve greatly if you talk with them.

Count on Weather
Winter—Spring—Summer—Fall. Well, tnose who live here in tropical country like us are of course not familiar with these expressions. You cannot even tell what it feels like being in place where the temperature is below 0° Celsius. So, be prepared for any weather conditions that may arise. Find out just how cold it gets in winter or how hot it gets in summer before you pack your suitcase. The weather conditions in four-season countries are a far cry from conditions in tropical countries.

Money Talks
The overall cost of living abroad can sometimes be much higher than at home. Can you imagine how tempting it is to live in a country where you're confronted with an almost endless list of entertainment possibilities and attractions? Not only will you spend your money on basic needs such as food and school supplies, but also on movie tickets, attending music concerts, and many other forms of “wasting-money activities”. So, if you cannot manage to live within a prudent budget which will take care of all the necessities and allow you to live for the duration of your stay on the means available to you, say Adios your friends there. Poor you!
In addition, because you are in an unfamiliar environment, with local costs stated in a currency you may not be able to translate immediately into rupiah, it is easy to be misled. So be careful!

Well guys, studying abroad is one means of exercising your independence—you have to live far away from home and be responsible for everything you do. Although it is hard at first, it gets easier as long as you stay determined.
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3 comments:

  1. Making a decision to Study Abroad is itself a big thing. Staying away from family and friends for such a long time is quite difficult but if you divert your mind and concentrate on your studies you can be successful. To achieve your dream you should have strong will-power and determination.

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