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What Are the Challenges International Students Face? Here Are the Top 5

Preparing yourself
Study Abroad
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Studying in a foreign country could be a daunting experience for any student. There are so many things to think about and prepare for, from visas and travel arrangements to finding housing and adjusting to a new culture. That is why international students need to educate themselves on the types of challenges they might face while studying abroad and get ready.


Educatly is here to share with you the main challenges international students face, as well as offer you some tips on how to overcome them. So if you're an international student preparing to study abroad, here are the most challenging aspects of studying abroad.


Here are the top 5 challenges international students face while studying abroad:

1- Speaking In A Different Language

One of the main challenges international students face is language barriers and having to learn a new language, even if just a bit. This can be difficult, especially if you're not used to hearing it spoken all around you. Even basic things like ordering food or asking for directions can be a challenge at first. It would definitely be an obstacle to overcome, but it is not impossible.


challenges international students face


There are a few things that you can do to help make the transition easier.


  1. 1. Take a language course: If you are attending university in a country where English is not the first language, then you should take a language course beforehand. 
  2. 2. Practice: If you know someone who speaks the language that you are trying to learn, then have conversations with them on a regular basis. 
  3. 3. Be patient: Do not get discouraged if you find yourself struggling at first. With enough practice and perseverance, you will eventually be able to communicate effectively in your new language.


2- Adapting To A New Culture

Culture shock is a real phenomenon that challenges international students when they study in a new country. It can be a tough adjustment, but there are ways to overcome the cultural shock.


One of the biggest cultural differences is the way people interact with each other. In some cultures, it's customary to be very formal and reserved in public, while in others it's more common to be outgoing and friendly. This can take some getting used to, but it's important to remember that there is no wrong way to do things – just different ways.


Challenges international students face


It's also important to be aware of cultural norms and customs around things like religion, family structure, and gender roles. These can differ greatly from what you're used to, and it's important to respect them even if you don't necessarily agree with them. Finally, one of the most challenging aspects of living in a new culture is simply homesickness. 


3- Dealing With Homesickness

Feeling like you are in a constant state of missing home, your family and friends (and all the little things about home) is totally normal. There are many things that can trigger homesickness, such as being in a new and unfamiliar environment, feeling isolated from friends and family, or simply missing the comforts of home. However, that doesn't make it any less tough to deal with. 


top 5 Challenges international students face while studying abroad


You can try to stay busy and occupied with activities that you enjoy to help take your mind off of things that are making you miss home. Try reaching out to your friends and family back home, or even just remind yourself that this is only a temporary situation. There are lots of ways to combat homesickness, just make sure you find the suitable way for you.


4- Being Completely Financially Independent

The financial aspect of studying abroad can be a little challenging. For starters, as an international student, you may have to pay higher tuition fees than local students, as well as cover the costs of living in a foreign country, which can be expensive. 


challenges international students face while studying abroad


Not to mention, you need to manage your budget and spending on accommodation, food, utilities, and much more on your own! The best way to overcome this challenge is to carefully plan finances and expenses to make studying abroad a total success.


5- Time Management

When it comes to time management, international students could face a unique set of challenges. For one, you may not be used to the fast-paced nature of your new college or university. You may also have difficulty balancing your coursework with other obligations, such as work and family.


international students challenges


To succeed in college, you need to learn how to manage your time effectively. Such ways for good time management include:


  1. 1. Making a schedule and sticking to it. By setting aside specific times for studying, homework, and other activities, you can make sure that you don’t get behind in your work.
  2. 2. Don’t procrastinate. Start working on your assignments as soon as you get them so that you don’t have to cram everything in at the last minute.
  3. 3. Learn to say “no”. You won’t be able to do everything, so it’s important to prioritize your commitments and focus on what’s most important to you.
  4. 4. Seek help when needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your professors or classmates if you are having trouble with your coursework or understanding the material.


By now, you should be ready to face the world as an international student and understand completely the challenges international students face while studying abroad. You’re more than ready to embark upon your study abroad journey in any country in the world. Begin your study abroad experience now and apply to the program of your choice anywhere in the world. All you need to do is sign up to Educatly and update your profile to get matched with the most suitable study abroad program. 


To make it a little easier, you can just browse through 65,000+ programs all over the globe.


What are you waiting for? Get started now.


Don’t forget to follow Educatly for more on studying abroad and education.

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