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Tips for Indian Students
5th Nov 2023
Manisha Sharma

Studying Abroad: Tips for Indian Students to Adjust to New Cultures & Thrive Overseas

Explore essential tips for Indian students studying abroad to adapt and flourish in a new cultural setting. Learn from real experiences, from initial homesickness to mastering communication.

Travelling to a foreign country to achieve academic success is an exhilarating experience for all overseas students. However, this exciting journey comes with its own set of challenges - the most intimidating one is adapting to a new culture.

Be it trying to adapt to a new language or finding an inclusive community, overseas students need to embrace the customs, traditions and culture of the foreign country to ensure a transformative experience.

It is a terrific decision to study abroad that can help students in many ways - be it for career advancement, personal development, or language abilities. Adjusting to a new culture should be high on your list of priorities. Although you may feel uneasy at first, expanding your horizons to include the cultures of others will only benefit you.

Tips to Ease Your Journey When You Study Abroad

Study abroad for Indian students is a little difficult as it takes time to adjust to a new culture. You can, however, take measures to lessen the shock of adjusting to a new culture.

  • Learn the facts

You should start by learning as much as possible about your intended country if you plan to study abroad. Seek advice from fellow students who have travelled there, study travel guides, and peruse your college's online resources.

Understanding the norms and beliefs of the country you plan to study in might be beneficial. For instance, what constitutes politeness and what constitutes rudeness? It will help you acclimatise to your new home if you understand the country's history, government, major events, and climate.

  • Define your objectives

Learning a new culture while studying abroad is a thrilling experience. You might have never set foot on this continent, let alone this country. You should try to cram as much travel into your university schedule when you study overseas. Plan what you want to see, eat, do, and experience while studying abroad.

It's only natural that a student studying in the United Kingdom would wish to visit some of the country's most famous cities while there. If you decide to travel around Europe, then you will be close to many different countries.

  • Take part in extracurricular activities

Fenix, a student at Florida International University, shares how the university's location influenced his choice. “The factor that motivated me to choose FIU is that it is amongst the top universities where students from different cultures and backgrounds come together to enjoy their academic journey. FIU offered abundant opportunities for sure.”

International universities provide students with a multitude of opportunities that compel them to challenge themselves and hone their skills. You, too, can gain new experiences like Felix by challenging yourself to learn something new. You can join clubs and organisations on campus. You can even consider applying for a position as a student ambassador if you actively participate in these activities.

  • Keep an open mind and inquire

Moving to a new country and learning about its culture does not require abandoning your beliefs and practices. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the validity of the beliefs held by others when you study overseas. You will be immersed in the local culture and exposed to the cultures of other international students worldwide.

They'll share your sensibilities while yet having their own. Understanding the local way of life and customs is important when visiting a foreign land. You should never be afraid to seek assistance from the people around you.

  • Talk to your teachers and other students for advice

Xuejia from China shares how professors at the Louisiana State University helped him level his English skills: “The professors here are very supportive and some of them are even Chinese. English being their second language, they speak slowly which helps you understand in a better way. They even guide you and help you personally with the doubts after the classroom.”

Just like Xuejia, thousands of students from different countries travel to English-speaking countries every year to fulfil their dream of studying abroad. What they need during the beginning is support from their teachers and peers, which is provided by the top universities in the world.

If you decide to study abroad, then other students from different countries will always be around you. Also, you'll be working on group assignments and sharing housing with these people. Talking to others studying abroad about the challenges of transitioning to a new culture can greatly assist. If you want to make the most of your stay abroad, then it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the local culture and discuss strategies for coping with culture shock with locals.

  • Get a taste of what you're used to

It's natural to feel homesick if you're away from your native land for an extended period to study abroad. Comforts from home can serve as a welcome diversion when you're stressed. Bring along some family pictures, put on your most-watched show, and make your go-to dinner.

  • Don't panic, and get in touch with the service team

Although it can test one's patience, experiencing new cultures is a great educational opportunity. You will gain insights into who you are and gain the self-assurance to tackle new challenges due to this approach. Remember that you have many individuals to talk to, including teachers and other students.

Everyone on campus, from your tutor to the welfare team, is here to support you. Let’s hear from Ayobami from Nigeria about his experience at the University of California. "The staff and orientation organisers were very welcoming and helpful during orientation week, and it was a breeze for me to get settled in. My first few days were rough due to jet lag, but they picked me up from the airport, showed me around campus, and took me and my fellow students shopping at Target.

Making the transfer to UC as smooth as possible was more than simply a job for them to do. They went out of their way to ensure I was happy and well-provided.” This highlights the importance of ensuring an open channel of communication with the college staff. If you are homesick or have questions about your new country's culture and lifestyle, then they are ready to help. You can also get in touch with them to discuss ways by which you can get accustomed to the new culture.

Final Word

Cultural assimilation is a process that always continues. Don't rush this process; be easy on yourself as you go. If you follow these suggestions when you study abroad, then you'll have an easier time settling into your new environment and a better foundation to build your study abroad experience.

At Azent, we focus on ensuring a seamless learning process and professional growth of our international students. We're committed to offering high-quality global education to all Indian students who are planning to achieve academic excellence overseas.

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