What’s your biggest motivation for studying abroad? Of course, you want to get a high-quality education, but be honest: is that the only thing? If you’re like most other students, you want your studies to be the best adventure of your life. If a university accepts your application, you’ll get a chance to be part of that country’s culture.
You’re not wrong thinking this will be one of the most exciting adventures of your life. However, you’re probably thinking other things that will turn out a bit differently in reality. There are common myths about studying abroad, which we’ll unveil today.
- People Won’t Like You
If you browse through the Internet, you’ll start thinking that people from other countries don’t like international students that much. There’s a never-ending debate on this issue. As a foreigner, you’ll be contributing to this country’s economy, but some people will think you’re taking the seat of a native who deserves to be in that university.
This is not the impression you’ll get on campus. People will write anything online. In reality, international students contribute towards the diversity of the campus, and that’s what every university in the world wants to achieve. You’ll make the natives aware of the problems other countries face, and you’ll help them consider different points of view. International students are great contributors in productive classroom discussions.
- It Will Be Hard to Make Friends
Do you have the impression that foreign students stick with their own clique? That will be true only if you allow it to be. You can locate people from your country and the countries close to it, so you’ll feel the connection to your culture. However, that doesn’t mean that the native students will be hostile towards you. They will be very interested to know more about your country. You just need to give them a chance, and you’ll make friendships for life.
- “I’ll Just Do What Everyone Else Is Doing”
You’ll attend classes, take exams, write projects… how hard could it be? Everyone else will be doing the same thing, so you’ll handle the challenges, too. It may not be as easy as you perceive it. Think about it: the native students already have the needed foundation for writing academic papers. You, on the other hand, will have to write in a foreign language and adopt a different manner of expression.
Cathy Laurens, a writer for BestEssays, explains that international students face real struggles with academic writing. “They are just not ready for it, and the universities are not giving them the support and training they need. These academic papers are not impossible to write, but an international student has to invest double the effort a native puts in.”
- You’ll Have the Fun of Your Life
Think about it: you’ll be attending classes every day, and you’ll be studying like a maniac for tests and exams. You’ll have to write dozens of important projects each semester. Do you think you’ll have time to act like the college students you’re seeing on movies? Think again!
You will get enough time for friendships and hangouts. However, if you’re truly committed to your studies, you’ll need to shift your definition of fun. You can’t expect to attend wild parties every weekend and get sober just on time to study for the upcoming exam.
- It’s an Expensive Adventure
It will be if your family is taking care of all the finances. There’s an opinion that international students are rich. They can afford to pay thousands of dollars for tuition, and double that amount to cover their living expenses. In reality, many international students are getting top-level education thanks to scholarship programs.
The universities themselves include these types of financial aid to attract more international students their way. In addition, there are many other scholarship programs provided by governmental and private organizations.
- It’s Not Safe
You think your own town is the safest place on Earth? We all have the same feeling, simply because we don’t know what it’s like to live elsewhere. There are always parts of the world you’d like to avoid if you want to be safe, but you’re not signing up to be a photographer on a battlefield. If the country is relatively safe, you can expect the university campuses to be really safe. It is also worth knowing that the GradGuard renter’s insurance program that is most likely offered through your college and university provides world-wide property coverage. So in case your backpack is stolen or damaged you will have coverage.
As long as you’re choosing a country that’s labeled as ‘safe to travel to,’ you’ll be just fine.
Did we help you form a more realistic vision of studying abroad? It’s an adventure and you’ll definitely face unexpected things. However, it will be a beautiful adventure when you’re prepared for it.
Author’s bio: Karen Dikson is a blogger and college instructor from New Jersey. Her works have been published on several education resources, including HuffingtonPost. Karen also participated in a teacher exchange program with Australia. Connect with Karen via Twitter.