Traveling overseas to obtain an education is a bold move that requires careful research and understanding on your part as a student.
Take time to plan and get to know your new home. Expect to experience culture shock, difficulty getting items that are familiar to you, and a different manner of thinking to your own country. Here are some other things to expect during every phase of your overseas education.
Upon entering the country
When you first arrive, you’re likely going to be optimistic about your new school and surroundings. Since everything will be new to you, it’s an exciting time, and people generally have a feeling of exhilaration during the first few weeks. At first, you may marvel at some of the conveniences your own country may lack, and the differences you never expected. The best advice is to enjoy the honeymoon phase and get to know as many of your schoolmates as possible.
Once the honeymoon phase is over, you will start to notice things about the new country you won’t like. No place is perfect, and you’ll likely go back and forth between enjoying your new home, and reminiscing about home. During this time, it’s helpful to realize these emotions are normal and are not a reason to leave your program. Stay focused on your schoolwork and engage in extra-curricular activities to help maintain a high level of motivation.
Adjusting to daily life
As you begin to get into a routine and adjust to daily life, it’s important to realize there are resources available at every school to help you. Many campuses offer free legal advice for dealing with landlords, and ensuring your rights aren’t violated. Learn where the international services building is located, and take advantage of anything available to you as a student or newcomer.
Preparing to graduate
In your last year, you should begin to look at potential employment options. As an international student, you have to plan carefully. When you graduate, your student visa won’t allow you to stay in the country for an extended period of time. The last year is the time for you to decide if you want to stay in the country, or go back to your own and look for work. If you receive an offer of employment before graduating, you can get a working visa to stay in the country. Talk to an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles like Joshua L. Goldstein for advice on how to immigrate and change your visa.
Going to a new country for your education is an exciting and rewarding time for any student. Use the resources available to you to get to know your new home and how you can better adjust to it.
Author: Brooke Chaplan