Congratulations, you have finished high school and secured your place at an overseas university!
You are ready to start off a new life in a new country. However, as time passes and you’re getting closer to this new stage of life, you start to worry about your new home, your new friends and your new routine.
What are the common causes of stress you face
Moving to a new area for university can be stressful and you feel the pressure and restraints. Causes of anxiety possibly are - unfamiliar with culture of your destination, language barrier, financial concern and social interaction.
You face different cultural values and social norms at a new country that can be overwhelming and daunting. Not being able to speak in your mother-tongue language at a foreign land makes it hard for you to fit into the new environment. Tuition fee, accommodation and travel expenses are top issues to be considered carefully before picking your choice of overseas university. Interaction with the locals is not an easy task while you may feel lonely and disconnected with your peers and family back home.
We have gathered here tips to help loosen up and manage your anxiety. Let’s get prepared before you start this exciting new journey.
4 Tips to deal with study abroad anxiety
1. Pick your accommodation
There are various kinds of accommodations, from dorms provided by schools, private accommodations for students, or even houses or apartments. While costs, size, cleanliness, and catering are important things to consider, these are some that you might have missed but are crucial.
Begin by considering the area in which you are going to be residing. Is it close by your university or is it in a remote area that is difficult to reach? This will greatly affect your life for at least the next academic year, especially if you don’t have a car.
It is important not only to find a place with good transportation but also a place near to places you will usually go. They may be your school building (search for the location of your building as it may not be in the main campus), library, market or supermarket, the mall, church, gym, etc. Finding a place that is within a good distance of all your go-to places will save you a lot of time and energy and even money in the first year.
Besides your location, your flat mates or housemates are also an important factor to consider. Everyone is different and it is absolutely normal to have different lifestyles and practices especially when you are meeting people from different cultures. Hence, if possible, try to be specific about your requirements when applying for accommodation, e.g. whether you want a quiet flat, how many flat mates you want, do you want to be in a same gender flat. Try to take this into account when picking your choice of the room as well, as the difference in shared kitchen and bathroom, ensuite and studio can greatly affect your level of privacy, or the amount of me-time, and even the amount of conflict that you can avoid.
If you are a person with a lot of pet peeves or are sensitive, do think about the more private ones, even if they are more expensive. It may help you better adjusting to your new living and learning environment.
2. Make friends
Other than your flat mates, you are also going to meet a lot of new people. Yes, it may be intimidating at first to speak and reach out to a complete stranger. Yet, it is important to put yourself out there, open up yourself to opportunities and challenges. Every fresher feels nervous too. Remember to stay positive and try to meet new people and expand your social network.
Try joining a society, sports club or just hanging out in parties. Being alone in a new country, it is always better to have friends around for mutual support. It is also easier for you to cope with your homesickness with friends around. While you are required to become more independent, these social support and assistance are crucial to your university start-up and transition.
Going to university overseas also means you will meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. Making friends with them is an eye-opening opportunity to learn various cultures or even experience them from a local’s perspective!
3. Get to know about the country
Speaking about culture shocks, studying abroad is a precious chance for you to travel around. Getting to know about the history and culture of the land you’re studying helps you break the barriers communicating with the locals, at the same time release your academic stress.
If you are studying in Europe, you should take time to explore the neighbouring cities on weekend trips, or even the nearby countries during your university holidays. It helps to spice up your monotonous university years. European countries are so close together that makes transportation easy, you can plan to travel on a student budget.
4. Bring along your home with you
While this adventurous new stage of life at a foreign country is exciting and fun, it is normal that you would miss your friends and family at times.
Bringing part of your home with you can lessen the stress. Items like photos, letters, plush toys, a blanket, your favorite snack, or even a rice cooker, anything that brings you a sense of comfort and belonging can actually improve your mental wellbeing. Grab them with you while you relocate to and leaving home for your new and unfamiliar destination.
Get in touch
Starting to imagine what your thrilling new life looks like? Get in touch with us to make this hassle of moving less overwhelming and kick start your new university life!
Crown Relocations Japan experts assist you with packing, shipping and customs paperwork, ensuring a smooth transition for you. We will also provide you with helpful tips and advice on how to make the most of your new experience.