Traveling abroad to study is very challenging; it’s an opportunity for individual growth and cultural and academic achievement. However, as an international student, you might also face some unforeseen challenges, which could make the experience more difficult than you thought.
Now is the time to get over any challenge trying to hinder your academic pursuit. That way, you can share the numerous experiences you had while studying abroad.
Studying abroad is not an easy task. Students who study abroad go through a lot of challenges, ranging from cultural and societal issues to currency, etc. Below are the common challenges international students undergo and the amazing lessons learned.
What are the challenges a student may face when studying abroad?
1. Language barriers
The language barrier is a major challenge every new person faces Even if you can speak the host country’s language a bit, you will have some difficulties with the slang and the other languages they may be speaking. These are languages that are hard to understand and blend with. It might even be difficult for you to relate to and express yourself in the school environment. In such a situation, learning will take a long time.
Some people become sick when they are far from their family and loved ones. Living at home is not easy, considering the distance. You might be homesick, missing your favorite foods, functions, cultural events, and traditions. The feeling of absence is enough to make one homesick, especially for someone who is not used to staying away from family.
3: Culture shock
The host country’s culture may be different from your own country, which can lead to cultural shock. It’s not easy to adapt to a new cultural setting or environment. The cultural difference could be quite frustrating and might throw you off balance. You will find it difficult to express yourself in social gatherings or know how to behave, and you might be isolated from your own students too.
4: Academic expectations
5: Financial Strain
Financial constraints are a major challenge too because studying abroad is very expensive compared to other countries, plus the cost of travel, health, accommodation, etc. Also, you might be denied access to work legally, which could reduce your chances of earning money. When you lack money, it will also affect your academic performance.
Living independently is a great task; you have to think about your accommodation and general welfare. You have to decide if you want to live in a school hostel or rent an apartment. If you are renting an apartment, you have to deal with different prices. Decide on the one that fits your budget. Apart from cost issues, you still have to deal with the fear of robbery or fraud from the house agents since you are new.
Sometimes you have to share an apartment, or you pay for the full house. Then you have to adjust to the environment to be able to relate to your neighbors. You have to become responsible for everything that concerns you, including taking care of your house. At this point, it becomes more difficult, especially when you are not used to such a lifestyle.
7. Saying Goodbye to Your New Home
This phase might seem simple or neglected, but it’s also a challenge. After you have succeeded in adjusting to the new environment and have taken it as your home, you finally finish schooling, and it’s time to go back to your original home.
Saying goodbye to a place you have taken as your home after some years will be quite challenging. You will definitely miss the new friends you have made, the language you just learned, food, and other activities. Now you have to learn to detach from these things you took time to adapt to.
8. Limited Scholarships
Scholarships for international students are limited in number, making competition fierce. It is very hard to secure a scholarship of this nature, the requirements are high and people from different countries apply for it. The chances of getting it are very slim.
9. Eligibility Criteria
Meeting the specific eligibility criteria of each scholarship can be challenging due to diverse requirements. Sometimes the requirements scare some people from pushing through with the scholarship.
10. Language Proficiency
Many scholarships require proficiency in the host country’s language, which can be a barrier for non-native speakers. This is a big challenge if you are not good with languages. So, in such a situation, only those who can speak their language will be given the scholarship.
11. Visa Requirements.
Meeting visa requirements and handling paperwork can be challenging, especially for first-time travelers. You will be asked to get a lot of documents, which will stress you out. These documents most often take time to get.
12. Recommendation Letters
Gathering strong recommendation letters can be tough, especially for students who are new to a country. Getting a trusted person to recommend might be a huge challenge, and not everyone will be willing to do that.
Some scholarships may require interviews, and the language barrier can pose a challenge. You could end up failing the interview because you are unable to communicate fluently in their language.
Discrimination or bias in scholarship selection processes can be a significant hurdle. Some countries are given more preferential treatment than others. If your country doesn’t fall into that category you might lose the scholarship.
15. Economic Fluctuations:
Exchange rate fluctuations can impact the cost of living and tuition fees, affecting the financial aspect of studying abroad. Once the economy is bad, it will definitely affect your ability to sustain yourself, especially in finance.
16. Health Insurance
Understanding and obtaining the required health insurance can be complicated in a foreign country. It takes a long time and a long process to get health insurance, especially for a foreigner. The requirements are complicated, which will also cost you a lot.
17. Work Regulations
Understanding the restrictions and regulations related to part-time work can be challenging, as they vary by country. Work operations differ between countries; your host country may not have favorable work regulations for you.
18. Cultural and social isolation
International students may experience feelings of isolation or homesickness, affecting their well-being and scholarship application focus. Adjusting to the new cultural system and social environment is a huge task; not everyone can survive the stress involved
Overcoming these challenges requires determination, meticulous planning, and seeking support from universities, scholarship providers, and local communities. If you want to get a scholarship abroad, you need to equip yourself with the necessary information.
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