Being an international student can be a bit overwhelming to start with, as for most of us, it would be the first time you are away from your family and country all by yourself. But life as an international student has taught me a lot, as it helped me understand the importance of self-reliance and being independent. Here are some things which helped me to keep going when feeling homesick or overwhelmed……….
You are not the only one
At times especially during the start of the course, you may feel doubt and anxiousness regarding how to adjust to uni life or settle into a new place, especially when you are all by yourself. Keep in mind you are not the only one coming with the same mindset as there would be plenty of other students coming from different countries who have the same thoughts and feelings as you. Therefore, use this as a common ground to know each other. I did the same and found some friends with the same mindset and interests as me and we have stuck by each other till today and surprisingly still friends after four years (just kidding!). You just gotta look, find good company, look after each other as you all are away from your family, and most importantly, enjoy your student life together.
Embrace each other’s Culture
UCB is a hub for students coming from all around the world from different ethnicities, who celebrate various festivals and have different customs and traditions than you do. It’s a great time to share your traditions with them and learn about their culture as well. Before I came here, I had no idea about how people celebrate Christmas, Easter, or any of the festivals here in the UK, and my friends didn’t know anything about Holi or Diwali, which we celebrate in India. We all learn from each other, which is one of the biggest advantages of studying in a multi-cultural and diverse university. Take this opportunity to learn more and embrace each other’s culture. Plus, the more the festivals, the more opportunities for you to celebrate and have a great time.
Explore New Places
I have never been to the UK before I decided to come and study here. Therefore, it was an excellent opportunity to explore Birmingham and other places when I got the chance. From experiencing the German Market, the view from the city library, my first snow, going to London for the first time, it was all new for me and a way of keeping myself busy and having fun rather than sitting in my room and getting more homesick. There is always something going on for students and a great way of living your student life.
Get out of your Comfort Bubble
My lecturers gave this advice in the first year, and it always stuck with me, which was to get out of my comfort bubble. It might sound very daunting to some, especially introverts like me but believe me; I am glad I did it as it helped me step out of my comfort zone and have a different outlook on things, allowing me to enjoy my uni life with no regrets. Times are already rough; don’t make them tougher by being hard on yourself all the time, as a famous saying for all of us ‘You Only Live Once.’
You only get to live student life once, so take that opportunity to make some happy memories to look back on in the future…