Bracing up for an abroad education
If you think that going to a foreign university for an abroad education is going to a la-la land then you need to give your figment of imagination an analytical reality check. Life is not going to be all hunky-dory in a foreign land. As they say, no pains, no gains, therefore, one must brace oneself for these challenges as a student in the foreign universities to reap the rich rewards of an enriching holistic academic odyssey
All on your own
If you are one of those spoilt brats or pampered and cloistered babies, you are in for a jolt since there would be no one at your beck and call to pamper you or take any of your tantrums. From maintaining good grades to working part-time to handling the finances to cooking to cleaning to taking care of self, you would be on your own. Of course there would be people and organisations on and off campus that would be your support system along with your family members back in your homeland extending their love and affection, but ultimately you would be the independent and self-reliant.
As an individual, you would have to emerge from homesickness and give your best in all your academic, co-curricular and extracurricular activities. You would have to overcome the void of your family members by you whenever you would need them. You would certainly be in touch with them through Skype, social networking sites such as Facebook, phone, etc. but all these would at best give you a virtual experience of their presence. So, an aspirant of a foreign education must be mentally and emotionally strong and firm.
New cultures, systems and methods
You would have to learn about, adapt and adjust to the new cultures and ethnicities and mold oneself into the new casts of social conventions and etiquettes in a foreign land to be have a smooth living. Also, you must get acquainted with and accustomed to the new or different systems and methods of banking, travelling and conveyance, shopping, housing, billing, parking, laundry etc. As a student abroad, there are many radically heterogeneous factors that you would have to not only know but also incorporate in your stay and demeanor.
Ostensibly frivolous, the issue of food and eating could be a grim and grave one for many especially for the vegetarians. Often it is difficult to find vegetarian food in the restaurants and cafeteria and the available meal options could be very often limited and even dismal. Non-vegetarians too need not always have a reason to rejoice since the meat available might not always be of the animals that they usually eat. To avoid all sorts of discomfort and obviate the various issues related to food, you must learn to cook and be willing to cook or take up the available options without any hesitation or grudges.
Disparate education systems
The education systems in foreign countries are very unlike the ones in India. Last minute study and plagiarism are taboo and a student is expected to be diligent, consistent and original with respects to write ups, projects, assignments, presentations, etc. Also, there are various forms of testing apart from various projects and presentations viz. open book test, dissertation, thesis, field work, laboratory work etc. A student must be aware of the credit and grading systems which too are very different from many of the Indian institutes.
Having said all the above, it is nevertheless, a life-altering and a life enriching experience to study abroad. The only pre-requisites are tolerance, sincerity, honesty, integrity and consistency.