8 Tips on being an International Student

Being an international student can be scary. Before you go, you may be incredibly excited to witness a new culture, yet simultaneously feel scared from leaving the familiar.

Below are a few tips I have compiled for future and current international students:

  1. Do not forget your international adapter.
    1. It can be a pain to try look for a two prong American wall adapter to a 3 prong Australian. I know. It happened to me.
  2. Do not forgot cables for your electronics.
    1. I recently brought my desktop computer to America. The only issue is that I forgot to bring the power cable. Luckily electronic plugs are quite universal- but this could've been more disastrous than losing a day of time.
  3. You are likely entitled. Do not forget how lucky you are.
    1. Appreciate your situation. Not everyone can go abroad seeking better educational experience.
    2. No seriously. Really appreciate how lucky you are.
  4. Try not to stick the international student bubble.
    1. I see many international students who seek only comfort level zone with culture. I.E. They would only mingle with other international students from the same country.
    2. Remember that you are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by different cultures. You might be doing a disservice to yourself if you do not leave the 'international bubble' Learning about the culture
    3. Perhaps volunteer or do a hobby with locals?
    4. Treat it like travel. You can go around europe, 1 day in each country, party with your international buddies in every country, and stick to the tourist path. That's totally okay.
      But at the same time, there are other cultural gains that can only be understood by engaging with locals. By knowing the tourist beaches from the local ones.
  5. While you're in the country, you can become lost in the present. Don't forget what your past set out to achieve.
    1. Don't lose sight of the tree while you're looking at the leaves. Simultaneously don't forget to keep in mind you're standing in a forest too.
  6. Absorb and integrate yourself into their culture. It will be a greater learning experience. You ultimately want to act as a local.
    1. The more you can assimilate into a new culture, the more you can understand a new culture. The more cultures you understand, the greater your world view becomes.
  7. Cultural challenges/Academic challenges/financial challenges
    1. Balancing work, school, and a social life can be difficult. But hey- doesn't it make for an interesting life? :P
  8. Locals and food
    1. The most important point with making friends with the locals is that they know all the good places to eat!

if you have anymore tips let us know in the comments! :)

Cheers,
-Mark