5 Excellent Survival Strategies to Adopt When Studying Abroad

Do you have plans to study abroad, work there or become a citizen in a foreign country? It has become most students’ dream to study abroad and work in multinational companies. The exposure that international colleges offer has become a cornerstone to a successful career and self-fulfillment.

Study Abroad

Currently, countries like Canada, the UK, Australia, and the US have become top study destinations. To substantiate, the latest findings indicate that many students consider several aspects when choosing a college abroad. That may include the availability of virtual classes, travel restrictions, stability, and the way a country handled the 2020 pandemic. Another report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that the international student population is most likely to exceed 8 million by 2025. 

Generally, studying in any foreign country has much to offer a student who is serious about learning. For example, experiencing a new learning environment, finding new interests, personal development, and building a reliable network that can push one into the professional sphere.

However, much as millions of students travel to study outside their home countries, studying abroad is highly challenging. As a student, you are most likely to experience homesickness, culture shock, language barrier, financial issues, and feelings of loneliness. With that, it’s essential to learn how to survive culturally and financially. 

In this piece, we’ll explore  the best survival strategies you can adopt to help you blend in and have a smooth transition, especially in the initial stages! 

5 Incredible Survival Strategies to Adopt When Studying Abroad

 1.     Familiarize yourself with a Native Language

Proper communication is very important in a foreign land, yet this is where you might get it wrong. As you focus on getting all the necessary documents and doing some shopping, you might forget to work on your communication skills. Generally, conveying any message is influenced by the 7C’s of Communication. That means that failure to convey the right message in the local language may leave you clueless and stranded on many occasions.

Understanding a few basics of the language used in a foreign land will offer you a competitive advantage. If you don’t speak English or the most used  language in a foreign country, then try to complete a short language course. Currently, there are many avenues for learning a new language such as Coursera, Duolingo, and edX. You can also choose to download the Google translate app to help translate for you the text you don’t understand. 

2.     Use Student Discounts

Did you know that being a student comes with a wide range of privileges? Depending on your college and interests, you can get an international student identity card, student advantage card, or a library card that can help you slash costs. There are generally many free benefits for college students that can minimize monthly expenditures. 

Countries like the US, Canada, and Australia are major study destinations and therefore offer a range of student discounts that students can enjoy on several services and products. Identifying and leveraging such avenues can help you reduce financial difficulties and live a comfortable life. 

3.     Use Public Transport 

Meeting daily transportation needs may prove troublesome and costly even if you’re running a small car. Since it may not be possible for you to get an immediate part-time job to foot the bills, making a few adjustments might offer considerable benefits. Instead of using your personal car, you can choose to live at the university hostels to cut expenses. 

Besides that, you can choose to use public transportation. Public transport can help you travel at a discount using your student ID. In addition, you can consider sharing a room with a colleague to reduce monthly expenses.  

4.     Learn to Live within your Means 

There is nothing that cultivates anxiety and stress like living beyond your means. Renting an expensive car to and from college, hanging out with friends every night, and shopping every month are some of the terrible financial habits that students normally adopt during their first year in college. 

However, be wise and ensure to live on a budget. If you’ve exhausted the student discounts, try to draw a budget and stick to it. Avoid spending unnecessarily, understand exchange rates, or carpool. You can also consider a part-time job to help you earn extra money to foot your bills. 

5.     Build Constructive Relationships

Although you may not be in a position to pick the right friends once you join a college, understanding the type of students around you and drawing the necessary boundaries can prevent you from social pressures. If you find that all your friends are party-goers and this has a negative influence on your lifestyle, then consider cultivating new friendships. 

Similarly, if you find that your social circle isn’t developmental in your normal life, you may consider making new friends that are disciplined and more aware of the environment around you. These will help you learn about the different solution centers you can access to get the necessary help or develop reliable habits. 

To encapsulate, studying abroad is associated with many benefits such as experiential learning, but hurdles are also common, especially in the early semesters. As a new student in a foreign land, you are more prone to health problems, financial struggles, cultural shock, language barriers, and depression. This article presents 5 reliable survival strategies you can adopt to have a more comfortable experience while studying abroad. However, as a learner, ensure to develop new survival techniques depending on the challenges around you and your goals.