Whenever someone tells me they are thinking of studying abroad usually they begin with all the cons which will come with it. In a few months time, a lot of people will have decided not to go. The thing about studying abroad is you can view it as too much work; a lot of paperwork; a lot of stress, or you can view it as a challenge that is worth all the tasks that come before it. Because it is worth it!
I understand that in many courses, there are different application processes so I know some may be more straight forward than others. But when is life ever going to without some work.
Last year I chose to study abroad in Canada. Sure, it came with so many tasks and stresses that I needed to work out, but I did them as they came along. There is plenty of staff at the university who can help you with any questions you may have before you go and while you are there!
Once you have taken these steps in applying and accepting you will suddenly find yourself on a flight wondering how it came round so fast. Next, you find yourself moved into your new home with complete strangers from all over the world you would not have otherwise met. Quickly, they are your new best friends. You travel, you take your classes; you travel some more; attend more classes. By the end, the time has flown by and you wonder if there were really any cons to have worried about at all. You will remember your time in your host country and not the paperwork that got you there.
So, tip Number 1 – Don’t let the application process stop you! You have plenty of time and plenty of help.
Studying abroad teaches you that there are challenges in any risk but without putting yourself out there, you will have no idea whether you can achieve them or not. I won’t lie to you, sometimes it does get hard and daily life problems can still arise while you are having the best time of your life. Be prepared that the trip is not a holiday and you are there to study while experiencing a new life. You’ll wake up and be back home in your own bed, in your own country wondering if it was all a dream or if it really happened? The answer is up to you? Tackle your fears or give in to the challenge?
Number 2 – Stay Positive and believe in yourself! You are here to surprise yourself in new and difficult situations!
In my time while studying abroad in Canada I had a lot of responsibilities – personal and professional, including weekend trips, school work, exams, summer applications for jobs and trying to find accommodation for my next semester. This became stressful trying to accommodate time to all tasks and make the most of my life abroad. What I did was to devote my day time to do my studies and professional tasks, making a time schedule of my days until I could cross off my responsibilities one by one. Then in the evenings, I would have some time to socialize, see friends, have dinner and events. I had a clear picture of my day and knew exactly what had to be achieved, completing assignments on time and staying calm while doing them. On days I became more stressed I would take a break and go to the gym to boost my mood and productivity. I maximized my time on study abroad by doing this and enjoyed most weekends on adventures exploring Alberta, Canada.
Number 3 – Manage your time! Stay calm and do not let things overwhelm you! Remember you have plenty of people to talk to and help you through anything you are struggling with. Your new friends are probably feeling the same way!
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Studying abroad is what you make of it! Everyone’s experience is different and I hope yours is a good one!
Personally, if I could, I would do it all over again!