q What To Expect When Studying Abroad | JM

What To Expect When Studying Abroad

You might have travelled abroad before, possibly for a family vacation or even a school trip. However, moving abroad for a few years to study is a whole different ballgame. Although it can be one of the best and most fun experiences of your life, there are many things you should take into account so that you are fully prepared. Here’s what to expect when studying abroad.


In your first week or two at university, things may seem a bit overwhelming. Massive facilities, confusing walkways, multiple classes all over campus…Thus, it is important to pay great attention to your orientation. You will be introduced to the campus, transportation around the university and the facilities. If you are staying on campus, you will also be receiving important information such as when and where to get your meals. You will also be introduced to your dorm room.

If you at any point need assistance or guidance, there are student support services that you may reach out to for help. Rest assured, there will always be someone you can go to.

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Different Culture

One of the biggest changes in your move abroad will be the culture. Firstly, the food will most likely be different compared to back home. You will have to say goodbye to your beloved mamak stalls and hawker centres. Furthermore, the people there may look or sound different too and the way they communicate will be different compared to Malaysia. You might face cultural misunderstandings and miscommunications in the early stages of your stay.

Additionally, culture shock is totally normal. You may experience a little anxiety and fear but it’s nothing that you can’t overcome. Every international student will go through it and it’s all part of the journey! A good way to combat this uneasiness is by joining clubs or societies at your university to make some friends. Once you blend into the country and its people, studying abroad will be nothing but a breeze.

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Being Independent

If you come from a typical Malaysian household, you most likely will have heard these phrases: “Learn how to cook, do your own laundry, tidy your room…how will you live alone at university if you can’t do these things?”. I spent years complaining about the tons of housework I had to do when I was living back home, but now I realize that because of it, I can independently live on my own. Staying away from home at university will also teach you things that you will never learn in school, such as paying water and electricity bills.

Therefore, embrace doing the housework at home, because once you move out, taking care of yourself and your surroundings will be a lot easier, you will not struggle like most of your peers, allowing you to have a smooth transition to university life.

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Having Fun

We’ve talked about orientation, the culture, being independent, but there is one last factor about university that you should expect…that it’s going to be some of the best years of your life! Be excited that you have the opportunity to explore a whole new country and culture. Use this chance to make as many friends as you can, as many memories as you are able to and try as many foods as you can eat. Be willing to put yourself out there and mix with the locals, not just sticking with your group of international students. By doing so, you will be able to fully utilize your stay in the country and receive the best university experience possible.

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Now that you have a firmer idea of what it’s like to study abroad, you can extinguish any worries you might have and replace it with excitement! Congratulations on your journey that’s about to begin and I wish you all the best! If you have any questions regarding your tertiary education or require assistance for university applications, contact us here at JM and we will gladly guide you throughout the entire process.

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