Adjusting to a New Life – Challenges Faced by International Students

“We don’t grow when things are easy – we grow when we face challenges.”

-Anonymous

International students have many expectations when they live in a foreign land. They can have high hopes when they enter a new school. Aside from budgeting after paying tuition fees, international students face unfamiliarity and a number of other obstacles: stress, weather, language and expectations from back home. Although these are somehow uncomfortable, there are ways to overcome them.

Anxiety and fitting in

Feeling like an outsider?! (Insert Mean Girls Movie soundtrack- “Milkshake” By Kelis) and voila! Sounds familiar? The most common challenge international students face is adjusting to new surroundings. This includes the people they are dealing with on a daily basis. They miss their support system in their home country – their families, longtime friends and many more. Just like Cady in the Mean Girls movie. But there are tons of methods to grow your new network when studying abroad. Join clubs, volunteer, join sports events or even attend local festivals. This way, thinking too much about your families back home will decrease. Thus, making new friends is not bad at all.

Stress and dealing with finances

On top of the never-ending lists of paperwork and exams among others, learning to master the money is a challenge too. Money can be a very useful tool if used wisely, but it can quickly disappear if not handled properly. Living in a different country can be a bit expensive compared to your home country. (You’re converting that can of soda and chips, right? LOL!) But there are good ways to stretch the finances. There are budget meals to plan ahead, nutritious alternative foods and free or cheaper recipes online. Adjust your daily budget accordingly. Universities also have financial counseling, especially post-secondary institutions.

Loneliness and homesickness

The unfamiliarity of a foreign land gives you a touristy feel at first. They call it the honeymoon stage; it’s the time of excitement and curiosity. Oh, hi there Instagram! When the honeymoon is over, reality hits you since you will be staying away from home for quite some time. Sounds lonely? Most students abroad face this challenge. Being homesick. Being miles away from families and friends – basically your whole support system. Although this is difficult, it is advisable to make new friends, create networks. Now is the modern era of digital technology – talk to your family online, indulge with a new hobby or visit the town center or a local bookstore. Anything that will keep your mind busy and productive. You’ll slowly start noticing changes in the way you think. You are now adapting to a new environment. Baby steps often lead to big leaps.

Try to do things that make you happier and productive! Challenges such as unfamiliarity sharpen one’s personality, it expands your perspective, your horizon. Having the courage to get out your comfort zone can turn out to be the greatest accomplishment when done right. Difficult at first, but very rewarding in the end. Don’t be afraid to explore new things and meet new people. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Continuously improve every aspect of yourself at the moment, enjoy your new home and embrace the challenges, it will be worth it and it will change you and help you grow.

Latest from our blog

July 3, 2020

COVID-19 Status: Finland Welcomes International Students

When the corona situation spiraled in the beginning of March, everyone’s habits needed to be adapted. Emergency state was declared in Finland on the 17th […]

→ Read more

June 30, 2020

Student from Macau: Finland is a Unique Study Destination

Many foreign students would like to travel around the world to experience new life. Vian from Macau is one of those who wants to try […]

→ Read more

June 23, 2020

Comparing Germany to Finland: Differences and Similarities

Would you like to explore Europe even at the comfort of your home? Let’s find out some general, basic country info and then delve deeper […]

→ Read more

June 19, 2020

Students: “TUAS gives you the flexibility to choose your own path”

Hang Le, Rasha Elmansuri, Simranjit Singh, Tan Bui, Miguel Fernández and Raj Tiwari are former and current students from the Turku University of Applied Sciences. […]

→ Read more

June 16, 2020

Anil from Pakistan: Finland Surprised Me

In 2015 Anil moved from Pakistan to study BBA in International Business in Finland. He came here with hopes to get valuable experience and a degree […]

→ Read more

June 9, 2020

Hong Kongese Student in Finland: English is Widely Spoken Here

Three years ago, Stephanie from Hong Kong has made her decision to study an exchange program at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland. She […]

→ Read more

June 5, 2020

Health Benefits of Listening to Music While Studying Online

Music has been a part of the human race for as long as history can explain it. With music becoming an integral part of living, […]

→ Read more

June 2, 2020

Finnish Forests – Beauty in its Wildest Form

Care about your well-being? Like being surrounded by lush and beautiful nature? Well, lucky for you, Finland has more than 70% of its land covered […]

→ Read more

Hear the latest from Edunation

Subscribe to our newsletter

Edunation, Mustanlahdenkatu 3-7 E, 33210 Tampere, Finland +358 50 354 8603
Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm (GMT +2)
© 2020 Edunation

Privacy Policy

Site by Atomi

Edunation’s Official Statement Regarding COVID-19