There is an old proverb that goes “All That Glitters Is Not Gold” and every international student should understand the message being sent to them on this proverb with relation to immigrating and studying abroad. Many people associate Australia to being the land of plenty which it is but many international students don’t anticipate the struggles they are bound to experience in the land of bounty. This blog aims to outline some basic struggles in International Student Life in Australia which every student will inevitably experience during their stay. Understanding these struggles does not mean you will not experience them but it will help you understand them and offer tips to help you reduce the psychological effect it will have on you.
Most students travelling to Australia are leaving behind 20 or more odd years of their life experiences, friends and family ties. It doesn’t dawn many students while applying for the universities in Australia or while leaving their home country for the first time but reality soon hits home once they arrive at their destination. You are suddenly alone with few or no friends in a new place. Your status is instantly changed from independent to dependant as you now need to depend on others to offer guidance and support. Every International Student Life in Australia is out to fend for themselves so you will face trouble bonding to new friends. While there are exceptions among the international students, you are bound to face major complications adjusting and this will automatically result in you growing home sick within the first few weeks of arrival in Australia. Well, while this may sound savage and brutal, there is light at the end of the tunnel if you adopt some simple tips as discussed below.
Frame photos of your loved ones
A simple and effective strategy of fighting home sickness is framing photos of your loved ones and hanging them around the house and keeping them at your work station. This helps improves International Student Life in Australia by having a perception that they are around you and will automatically reduce the negative vibes.
Video call your family and friends
Make sure to maintain communication ties with your love ones and video call them on a regular basis or every second or third day. Remember they also miss you and will want to see you physically to help reduce the strain. Your parents and siblings are especially important to video call as they tend to observe you very closely and will automatically highlight any problem they observe with you. May it be your weight, appearance or mood, they would be able to identify a problem and help you through discussion,
Every International Student Life in Australia is bound to experience home sickness and shedding a tear or two is fine as long as it helps you release the mental strain and allows you to focus.
Stop converting and comparing costs to your home country
A major problem experienced by Asian students who live the International Student Life in Australia, is linked to the sudden increase of costs and expenses, it’s only natural to convert prices and compare them to your own country but keep in mind, and this will not reduce the prices or cost. You will only further add to your psychological strain by constantly converting and comparing the prices.
To overcome this problem, you need to search and secure a job as soon as possible which will allow you to begin earning in Australian dollars. Once you begin earning in Australian dollars you will gradually overcome the habit of comparing the prices with products back home since you are now earning in Australian dollars.
Most students who live the International Student Life in Australia come from middle income group families of who many are not used to performing their own chores. Their mom, sisters or house help performs their daily chores resulting in many not being able to manage their time. On arrival in Australia, reality hits home since most of them need to now do their own chores, something many have not done throughout their life. This leads to serious time management issues which result in many chores not being done on time, leading to complications. This makes it very important for students to understand they would be responsible for performing all their chores and would need to begin managing their time accordingly. This includes developing a habit of waking up early and setting a time table of different personal chores that need to be completed on a daily and weekly basis. The list must also include your school and working hours thus allowing you to determine precisely when and how you would be handling each task. Over time you will get the hang of managing your time but you are likely to struggle during the initial days while you organize and allocate your time towards different chores.
Yep, loneliness is a part of the International Student Life in Australia as it is something most students experience despite of them being social freaks since it takes time to bond to new friends. The absence of immediate family members also contributes immensely towards loneliness. While family and old friend may be far, it’s recommended to make new friends and try socializing as much as possible. It’s also recommended to discuss the issue with your teachers and counsellors at the university who would be able to make recommendations relating to how you can overcome loneliness. Avoid being alone as this will only fuel your loneliness so try to be with others and participate in events which will help make you more active and divert your mind from negative vibes.
So if you are an international student planning to attend an Australian university for your higher education, it is advised to be prepared to face these struggles. While this does not apply to all International Student Life in Australia, it’s important to note that the majority of students will struggle on one of more of the above discussed points. This makes it important to understand what you are up against to help you develop mitigation plans to help reduce the effects this experience will have on you once you arrive in Australia for your higher education.
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Adam is our resident blogger, who specializes in matters concerning International students, immigration processes, visa rules, student accommodation, university rankings and reviews. Adam has done his post-graduation in mass communication from the university of Melbourne and has been an active blogger since 10 years.