How to Mentally Prepare Yourself to Study Abroad

Graphics & Words by Caitlin Chuah

Apart from applying for a visa, passport, booking your flight, accommodation and other essential steps to prepare for studying abroad, many students tend to neglect their “emotional preparation”. Living abroad for a few years is not something to be taken lightly. Being submerged in a vastly different environment can cause you to become overwhelmed or anxious, especially if little to no emotional preparation is conducted. Hence, we have come up with 4 tips on how to mentally prepare yourself before studying abroad.

1. Learn about your study destination

The moment you touch-down in your study destination, you will be exposed to a different culture, lifestyle, people, food and possibly, weather and language. By doing research on the country and its distinct characteristics, you will have an idea of what to expect and can react accordingly, rather than being taken by surprise. One example is to read up on blogs or watch YouTube videos about the country, or even better, the specific city or town you will be residing in.

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2. Research your university

Request as much information as possible from your chosen institution to ensure that you are emotionally prepared to study there. You can inquire about living arrangements, the layout of the campus, rules and regulations, how classes are conducted or any other information that will help put your mind at ease. You can do so by email or even scheduling a video call with the programme leader or university representative. As an education agency who works with hundreds of universities, we can assure you that they will gladly answer your questions.

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3. Connect with other international students

Many universities will have international student clubs or societies. It will be excellent if you could participate in these clubs as it can act as a solid support system for you. Make friends with other international students and ask one another for tips and advice in regards to living in a foreign country. However, do not forget that it is also important to mix with local students so you can learn about and expose yourself to different cultures and people.

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4. Find out what are your support options

Aside from joining an international student society, find out if the university has an on-campus counsellor. University counsellors are tasked in providing emotional and mental support to students who require it. Some universities even have staff members that solely focus on providing support to students, such as “senior tutors” or “dorm parents”. Knowing your support options and how to access them will be a valuable tool whenever you need some guidance while studying abroad. Lastly, NEVER be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

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If you are interested in furthering your studies, feel free to contact us. Our services include: education and career counselling, assistance in college/university applications, student visa application, arranging accommodation and more!

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