Studying abroad can be challenging, its scary, uncomfortable, weird, fun, exciting, eye-opening and a host of other things. Further, it costs no less than a fortune and so naturally its an uphill task.
Here are 3 things you should do to be able to survive study abroad and make it a fulfilling experience.
1. Eat Food
Eat Food, dig deep in the flavour, eat it, savour it, hate it and most importantly, keep it messy
Yep, this was probably not the first thing you would see atop most conventional lists about surviving study abroad, but that it is what we are at Purdue, unapologetically unconventional. As an international student living abroad for over 3 years now, I think that it is absolutely imperative to try new foods every day because eventually, it helps you gain a sense of familiarity with what is eaten where and how which translates to being slightly more comfortable in a new environment. Get out there, try new food, don't be diet conscious and immerse yourself in the sea of flavours you would not get back home. Understand the flavours, savour them, if you like something eat it over again and if you don't like something, eat it anyway because who knows when you will get to try it again.
Make new friends, get to know them.
Get to know people, understand them, ask questions, figure out what they think and why. What informs their thought process? During my time here in the United States, interaction with a host of different individuals has helped me understand the American thought process, the why, where, when and how, to the extent that now I can kind of figure out what potential responses would be in certain social situations. For all the introverts out there, fret not. I am not asking you to be an absolute social butterfly who knows every damn person. It's about finding a balance between the time you are at a new country and making connections. Shortlist any 5 people you are introduced to during your time there and follow up, slow and steady.
3. Remember your roots
The fact that you are in another country is great and I hope not, but there may be a time period where you may feel homesick as you start missing your home and your family. This is exactly what I mean by remember your roots. When you feel alone reach out to people you are most connected to back home. Mom, dad, siblings, friends and vent out your feelings. Whomsoever you are emotionally connected to the most would be glad to lend you an ear, for most people want to help you. Express yourself, write them down before you talk so that you have them organised and discuss all the insecurities you are facing. Trust me, I know it helps.