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1. New Accents

The very first thing you're going to notice is the accents. Whether you're from America, Spain, France, or China, the city you're studying in most likely has an accent that is different from yours. This can either be a really great thing (yay British accents!) or it can really set you back within your first few days. If it should happen that you aren't feeling comfortable with the language barrier, be sure to let someone know. Your host university or may have a really awesome International Student advice center or some other support group, so be sure to check in with them.

2. Currency Differences

Money is weird! Unless you are traveling from one European Union country to another that both use the Euro, you are very likely going to need to exchange your currency to that of your new country. It seems super cool at first -- hey, they have the Queen on here instead of George Washington! That's all well and good, but be sure to familiarize yourself with the new currency before you become the kid that holds up the queue (that's what they call a line in Europe) because you didn't understand the difference between a pence and a pound!

3.Toiletries are not the same

Products are different. Your home institution may have told you this before you arrived in your host country, but once you get there, this becomes more of a reality. Tampons, toothpaste, and even cookies aren't the same in your new country. I suggest just going with the flow. Find something that's similar to what you're used to and just try it out! You may find your new favorite brand! P.S. Some places do have the same large brands that you're used to so don't be too nervous about not finding what you need

4. Friendships can form differently

You may notice that people from your host country are not as warm and welcoming at the beginning as you expected they would be. This is normal! It may be common for the citizens of your new country to be somewhat cool at the beginning of a friendship; you may need to wait until you get to know one another better before the locals warm up to you. Don't be worried! They are kind and caring, but they want to make sure they know you well enough before forming a deep friendship.

5. The culture may not have much in common with your own

Cultural differences are also a large part of the first week in a new country. Something that you believe is an important factor to your home life may not be as engrained in the nature of your new location -- and that's fine! Each country and even the cities within those countries all have their different ways of life, which may be different from what you're used to. Do NOT be afraid to embrace some of these new ideas and try something new!

6.How cool International Students are

International students are the absolute coolest. I currently live with seven other students and six of them are from countries other than my own, and none of us come from the host country. Be sure to get to know the other international students around you! They're going through the same fears and emotions that you are and they are a wonderful support system. I have learned so much about other cultures and I've begun to incorporate aspects of daily life from other European Union countries into my own because of what my new friends have taught me. Embrace your feelings of being new and meet others who feel the same way!

7. How much you change

The final thing you'll begin to notice is that YOU are already changing. The new world you've stepped into has begun to shift your understanding of what you consider "normal" and that's a good thing! Allow your first week to be the one that shows you new things and opens new doors. Go to that club or pub down the road, stay up late talking to other kids, talk to professors about their dissertations, be BOLD. No-one ever got anywhere by being shy. You're about to have the greatest experience of your life -- live it, love it, and let it change you.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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