Living in a Foreign Country

Living in a Foreign Country

After a while studying abroad you’ll realise that you’re in a foreign country. 

It’s not all Harry Potter and Hogwarts here and sometimes in can get a bit too, well, British.

The rain, the grey, the cold, the bureaucracy, the weird language, If it’s getting on top of you, don’t despair, you are not alone and you are not the first. Everyone experiences some difficulty in adjusting to, what is after all, a foreign country.

Remember this:
It’ll pass – this is a rare and brief opportunity

Things aren’t necessarily worse than home, just different

Others feel the same – it might look like everyone’s having fun except you, but everyone struggles

Help is at hand

Studying abroad, giving up  familiar surroundings is a significant achievement in itself, let alone, studying, budgeting, making friends, travelling etc on top.

So give yourself a break. Despite appearances, almost everyone struggles with ‘culture shock’ at some point.

Graphic from UKCISA the UK Council for International Student Aid

If you’re going through it now, then do not fret. You are not alone. It’s most often a temporary pain that will pass on your way to settling in.

Where to find help

But in case you’re finding it all too much, don’t forget: your study abroad time here is very brief! There is plenty of support available to you, such as Samaritans and Nightline, free confidential counselling both through your home school health insurance plan and/or on campus and your Resident Director.

Further reading

This advice comes from UKCISA.

What is Culture Shock?

A model of Culture Shock

How to help yourself