You’re in your first semester.
You don’t know anyone.
You don’t seem to understand anything.
You feel lost, and you’re asking yourself, “Did I make the right decision?”
This was me in my first semester here in Australia. Within the first few months, I began reconsidering my decision to study abroad. It was a new place, with new people, and most importantly, a new life. I wasn’t ready for it and like everyone, I was afraid of the change.
It has been two years now. Sometimes I can find it hard to focus on the good things. It’s especially hard when you’re in an environment that’s outside your comfort zone. I’m here to remind you of the good things and why studying abroad is the best decision you have ever made!
You learn to enjoy your own company
Most people feel uncomfortable being on their own and I did too. I came across a volunteer opportunity that interested me, but I didn’t have anyone to go with. I sat for days wondering if I should take it or not. Finally, when I did, the experience was rewarding, and I made a wonderful friend.
Being somewhere on your own forces you to be independent, to teach yourself, to learn to be comfortable around new people. We’re not always going to have people we know around us. Learn to be comfortable with your own company – know that even if you don’t have someone, you can feel just as happy.
You learn to adapt
Part of being in a new place is learning to accept its newness. You will have to work and interact with people from different cultures and walks of life. At times, it can be emotionally draining but that’s when you learn to overcome the small problems. It improves your ability to adjust to different situations quicker.
Looking at this from an employer’s perspective, it shows that you’re confident and open to new experiences. It shows your willingness to try something new.
You get to experience a range of new opportunities
The fact that you’re reading this is a great example of the range of opportunities!
I have discovered new interests that I might have missed if I didn’t come to Australia. Experiences like fundraising, working with event crews, interviewing café owners, and managing a retail shop. These experiences wouldn’t have been possible if I chose to stay home. These are the reasons for my improved self-confidence and my ability to take risks.
You broaden your view of the world
No matter how big your country/hometown is, or how many friends you had back there, nothing teaches you more than being in a new environment. It’s like wiping the slate blank and writing a new line all over again.
With the world becoming more globalized every day, we need to gain a broader view. And studying abroad is one of the best ways of achieving that. It teaches you to see problems from diverse perspectives. It challenges you to think innovatively and come up with creative solutions.
You experience a new style of education
Two countries will not have the same approach to education. Back in my hometown, we never had team projects. This is something that intimidated me at first but later, I realized how valuable it is to have teamwork skills.
Differences like these teach you important skills that will be useful in your life. It’s a chance to see a new side of your subjects. Make that work to your advantage and use the resources provided.
You have a once in a lifetime experience
Studying abroad is like skydiving or bungee jumping for the first time! So, if you’ve made that decision, know that you’re already brave enough.
While the main purpose of the trip is to study, know that this is something you might never get to experience again. It’s a few years before you decide to move back or start working, so make the most out of it.
It’s the chance to push beyond your boundaries.
To make incredible friends from all over the world.
To learn about a new culture and yourself.
To create memories that will become amazing stories to tell when you go back home.
You’ll never realize how life-changing the experience has been until you graduate. So, go ahead and explore…
– Anusha. G