Let’s face it. Student life can be stressful, even for domestic students. Traveling to and living in a new country can add more stress for international students. It is an adjustment moving to a new country. You will be experiencing a new culture and possibly learning a new language. Many international students have never left home before and we know it can be scary. As an international student you may experience homesickness and you may struggle with adjusting to your new surroundings. We are here to remind you that this stress is normal, but we are also pleased to let you know that we have some tips to deal with the stress of your new life in Canada or the USA.
Most schools will have an International Student Office on campus. These offices exist to help you and answer any questions you may have about your school, your program or life in a new country. Since you will most likely be arriving in a new country with many questions, the International Offices are a great place to contact first. They will also try to help you feel more comfortable in these new surroundings. The office staff will help you have a successful experience in both academic and personal aspects.
Connect with Students
There may also be student run groups to help international students cope with their new life in Canada or the USA. This will give you the chance to meet new people in your school! Also by talking to student you will be able to cross the language barrier and be more comfortable speaking English around other students. You will also have the chance to meet students who speak your original language and who are going through the same feelings that your are. Meeting students who are going through the same issues will help you feel like you aren’t the only one feeling uncomfortable in a new area.
It’s always good to get to know your classmates. You may end up becoming very good friends with someone who is in your class. There are usually many common areas on campus which are great areas to hang out in to meet new people. Also going to school or community events is another great way to meet people. This is also a good opportunity for you to be involved with the culture of the new country you are now living in. Once you start to talk to other students and attend events, you will start to feel more comfortable in your new surroundings as an international student.
Issues with Academics
Sometimes no matter how hard you try you may still have difficulties with schools projects and assignments in college or university. Projects involving strong English skills may be a struggle and very stressful for students new to the country. If you are feeling stressed about school work talk to your teachers! Most teachers want to be there to help student be successful in their academic career. It is very common in North America for students to ask their teacher, as well as other students, for help with their school work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are having problems or concerns just ask!
Travel Around the City
Being in an unfamiliar area can be scary. So try to explore the new city you are living in. You may feel more comfortable in the new city once you have explored your surroundings. Many schools are located in beautiful areas. Why not use some of your spare time to explore the city and get to know the area around you. It is a great idea to visit the city’s downtown area. In the downtown areas there are usually many local restaurants and stores for you to go to. You could possibly ask your classmates what their favourite things to do around town are. You will be able to experience a new culture and meet new people.
We all know that school is very expensive. Did you know that you can work part time while you are a full time student? You can work up to 20 hours a week on or off campus while you are in Canada or the USA!
By working part time you will be able to help support yourself while you are studying abroad. Getting some extra money from a part time job will decrease the stress you may have about all those schools fees that you are paying. Also by working you will be able to gain new life skills that you can use in your future careers. You will also meet new people and get to experience a new culture in a hands on environment.
Over all becoming an international student can be challenging. But just remember that it will take time for you to adjust. It may take a while for you to feel comfortable in your new life as an international student in Canada or the USA.
If you haven’t already applied, head over to ApplyBoard to apply to schools in Canada or the USA!