Having the Best Time as an International Student

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Having the Best Time as an International Student

You will only be a college student once in your life. Deciding where to spend the next four years of your life is a big deal because it can set the tone of your future. Some people prefer to attend school near their home, and some prefer one that is miles away from home.

If you consider yourself as belonging to the latter category, then you must be craving to get out of your comfort zone. Attending university in a foreign country is a great way to get that independence and the chance to be yourself without the shadow of those whom you grew up with.

But the idea of living away from your friends and family can be frightening. So whether you’re an exchange student for a few semesters or earning your degree from a university in a completely different country, you can find these tips useful to enjoy your time away from home.

Find a Good Home Away from Home

Where you live for the next few months or years should be comfortable because that is your sanctuary in this new environment. It can be your safe space amongst the sea of strangers, so it’s important that it can feel like your home away from home.

You should find affordable long-term accommodation that is near your university campus to make it easier to get to your classes. The place should be comfortable and convenient, but if you can find one that has different amenities and inclusions like gyms, laundry services, or Wi-Fi, then that will be better.

Living on your own is hard enough as it is. That is why picking good accommodation will be beneficial for you because you can get the menial household tasks done without much hassle. Some places even go as far as offering routine cleaning for students, so they can focus better on their education.

Explore the City and Country

It’s okay to get lost in the city once in a while. Follow the lights in skyscrapers and discover new places that you never thought existed. Go with the flow of foot traffic and find out what the locals do or where they hang out. You might even make a few friends along the way.

There’s nothing wrong with exploring the city like a tourist because in this case, you are one. You can also research the city and see what landmarks you can visit while you’re there. And when you’ve seen everything you can in the city, then go to the next city or explore the rest of the country.

Make the most out of your time in a foreign country by seeing everything you can, while you can. When will you have the chance to come back there once you graduate or finish your semester? So take this opportunity to have the firsthand experience by seeing everything with your own eyes.

Familiarize Yourself with the Local Cuisine

The best way to get to know a place is through their food. Trying out the food in a foreign country can either be a hit or miss, especially if you have never tried them before. You might love their food, or think that you wasted money on a certain delicacy because it doesn’t agree with your taste buds.

But that’s the beauty of exploration. You will never know if you love or hate something unless you try it for yourself, so try everything at least once. If you discover that you’re not a fan of a certain snack, drink, or meal, then don’t go for seconds. It’s easy as that.

During your stay in the country, make it a habit to try something new every week so that you can get the full experience. You might discover your new favourite comfort food or drink in that way, which can come in handy when you’re craving in the middle of the night while you’re busy studying for finals.

Be Open to New Experiences

The whole point of studying in another country is to experience a culture that is different from your own. If you don’t allow yourself to fully immerse in your new environment, then the experience would be futile because your time there didn’t add value to your life.

Change can be scary, especially if you’re on your own and surrounded by strangers. However, it can also be an exciting time in your life because you are challenging yourself to adapt to the changes. If you let your fears go, or at least, not hold you back, then you might be surprised at what you can accomplish.

This is the time to experience everything you can, so use this opportunity to just be and go where your feet take you. You won’t lose anything by allowing yourself to be at the moment, but the experience can be wasted if you don’t enjoy it to the fullest extent.

Your life at the university is one of the best and worst times you will have in your life. It can feel overwhelming at times, but it will certainly be memorable because this is where you can create lifetime friendships, learn about the world, and be who you want to be.

Caitlyn Knuth

This is Caitlyn Knuth from Vancouver, Canada. I am a teacher, traveler, and story writer.

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