Tips to cope with culture shock abroad
It is quite difficult to get adjusted in a foreign country, especially when you are there for the first time. Therefore, most of the universities and institutes arrange various cultural programmes and activities to break the ice and help international students to get adjusted to the new environment. However, the first few days are difficult for any student in a foreign country. Here are a few tips to cope with culture shock abroad:
Do good research before boarding the flight
It’s always advisable to collect information about the university where you are going beforehand. Browse through the university website and get a basic understanding about the major events and ceremonies in the university. Also, you can go through the department pages and get an idea about the faculty and activities. Find the alumni of the university from various social networking sites. Interact with them to know more about your host country and university. Meet and make friends with your fellow classmates through Facebook, Twitter etc. before you reach university. Many universities and institutes create groups in various social networking sites for the incoming students so that they can meet the future classmates and batch mates online.
Interact with students
Post arrival; interact with students - both local and international. It will give you much global exposure. The kick-off meetings and opening days organized by the university and the respective departments are the best means of meeting people and getting adjusted to the new environment.
Don't be nervous
There is no need to be nervous in a foreign country. Remember that there are many students like you going abroad for higher studies and successfully complete their degrees. Explore the places, find new friends and interact with more people with common thoughts- all these will help you to a great extent.
Be active and join communities, societies and activities
Don't shy away from interacting with new people and making new contacts. One best part of international education is global exposure. Each university has a number of communities which help to meet like-minded people. Almost all major universities have Indian societies that help you in connecting with the fellow Indian students and celebrate the country's major festivals like Holi and Diwali.
Your parents will be as anxious as you especially if you are going to a totally alien country with no friends or relatives around. So, it is very important to call home and talk to your parents. This will also help in reducing the homesickness.
Last, but not the least, have an open-minded attitude. Take all experiences- be it good or bad- in a good spirit and consider it as a great learning opportunity.