4 Key Challenges that International Students face and How to Overcome them

Challenges that International students

International students face a number of unique challenges when studying abroad. Feeling so far away from home can bring on feelings of homesickness and other uncertainties. It’s normal for international students to feel different challenges including language barriers, cultural differences, and feeling isolated from friends and family. However, there are also a number of ways that international students can hack these challenges to make the most of their time studying abroad.

As a student away from home, it’s normal to face different challenges as you settle into a new culture and new surroundings. The best thing you can do is learn to deal with these challenges and embrace this new way of life.

These are the top 4 challenges of International Students and tips to overcome them:

1. Language Barriers 

One major challenge that international students face is language barriers. Even if you speak the language of the country where you are studying, you may still struggle with academic jargon and idiomatic expressions. To hack this challenge, international students can take language classes, find language exchange partners, or even use language-learning apps to improve their skills.

2. Cultural Differences

Another challenge that many international students face is cultural differences. These can range from differences in communication styles and social norms to differences in food and daily habits. To hack this challenge, international students can seek out opportunities to learn about the culture of the country where they are studying, such as taking cultural classes or joining cultural organizations on campus. Additionally, they can make an effort to spend time and make friends with local students to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and develop meaningful relationships.

3. Feelings of Isolation

Feeling isolated from friends and family is another common challenge faced by international students. To hack this challenge, international students can make an effort to stay connected with loved ones back home through social media and video chats. They can also make an effort to build a support system on campus through clubs and organizations, or by finding a group of fellow international students to connect with.

4. Financial Challenges

Lastly, another challenge for international students is finances and budgeting for their stay in a foreign country. Some ways to hack this is by looking for scholarships, part-time jobs, or internships that can help support them financially while they are studying. It’s also important to be mindful of the cost of living in the country they’re going to and budget accordingly.

In conclusion, studying abroad as an international college student can be a challenging but also rewarding experience. International students face a variety of unique challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences, feeling isolated, and budgeting for the cost of living. However, with the right mindset and a few key hacks, these challenges can be overcome and international students can make the most of their time studying abroad.

Managing College Student Expenses: Your Guide to Student Cost of Living 2023

college student expenses

As a student, one of the biggest factors (and challenges) to consider when planning your studies is the cost of living and your expenses as a college student. Whether you’re a domestic student or an international student, the cost of living as a student can vary greatly depending on the location of your school and the lifestyle you choose to lead.

The cost of living for students can be quite substantial, and it’s important for students to be aware of these costs and budget accordingly. By taking the time to plan and budget, students can make the most of their studies while minimizing financial stress. And also always look for scholarships and part-time jobs that may help you to support financially while studying.

Now, it would be a real shame to put your studies on hold due to financial reasons, for this reason, we have some tips to help you properly plan your student expenses and get your college student expenses budget up to scratch.

Here are some of the biggest college student expenses and how to save money as a student:

1. Student Housing

One of the most significant college student expenses is housing. Many students choose to live on campus in a dormitory, which can be a more affordable option but also may be more cramped and may not provide the privacy students want. Alternatively, many students choose to live off-campus in an apartment or house, which can be more expensive but also provides more privacy and space. It’s important for students to weigh the pros and cons of both options and budget accordingly.

2. College Commute

College Student Expenses: college commute

Another cost to consider is transportation. If you’re living on campus, you may not need a car, but if you’re living off-campus, a car or a bike may be necessary. Public transportation is also an option, but the cost and availability may vary depending on the location of the school. It’s important for students to factor in these costs when budgeting for their studies.

3. Day-to-day essentials

Food and groceries are some of the biggest college student expenses. Eating on campus can be more expensive than cooking your own meals, so many students choose to cook their own food to save money. However, cooking your own meals can take time and effort, and may not be an option for students who are very busy with classes and extracurricular activities.

4. Course Materials

College Student Expenses course materials

Additional costs to consider include books, supplies, and tuition. Many students are able to save money on books by buying used or renting them, and also by taking advantage of online resources. It’s also important for students to budget for any additional supplies they may need, such as a laptop or software. And lastly, tuition can vary greatly depending on the school, major, and whether you’re a domestic or international student. It’s important to research the tuition cost before committing to a school.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the cost of living for college students can be significant, with housing, transportation, food, and supplies all adding up quickly. However, with careful planning and budgeting, students can make the most of their college experience without breaking the bank.

In order to save on housing costs, students can weigh the pros and cons of living on campus versus off-campus and consider options such as shared housing. As for transportation costs, students can use public transportation, bikes, or carpool. To save on food and groceries, students can cook their own meals instead of eating on campus, and budget for food accordingly. To save on course material costs, students can look for used or rented books, take advantage of online resources, and budget for any additional supplies needed.

Additionally, students should always keep an eye out for scholarships and part-time jobs that may help support them and their college student expenses. By being mindful of these costs, and being strategic and creative with budgeting, college students can have a successful and fulfilling experience, while minimizing college student expenses and stress.

How to Cope with Homesickness at College: 6 Steps to Follow

beat homesickness at University

Homesickness is a common experience for college students, especially for freshers and for those who are studying far away from home. Being away from familiar places, people and routines can be difficult, but there are ways that you can learn how to cope with feelings of homesickness and stay connected with family and friends.

In this article, we will reveal 6 steps to help cope with homesickness.

Step 1: Stay connected to family and friends

cope with homesickness stay connected

Keeping in touch with family and friends is important to overcome homesickness. You can do this by using social media, video chat, or scheduling regular phone or video calls. You can also send physical mail to keep things more personal and closer to your loved ones.

Step 2: Create a connection to home

cope with homesickness decorate room

You can create a connection to your home by decorating your college dorm or apartment with personal items from home, you can do this by adding photos, artwork, or mementos. You can also cook or bake familiar dishes from home to remind you of home.

Step 3: Get involved in Social Activities

cope with homesickness by socialising

Choosing to socialize more and getting involved in activities on campus, such as clubs or organizations, can help you make new friends, gain new experiences, and develop a sense of community. It can also be a great way to meet people with similar interests and backgrounds as you.

Step 4: Reach out for support

deal with homesickness with support

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are feeling unable to cope with homesickness, it’s important to reach out for help to ensure that you stay as healthy and happy as you can be. You can talk to friends, family, a counselor, or a teacher. Your school’s counseling center may offer specialized assistance to students who are struggling with homesickness.

Step 5: Be open-minded

homesickness at university

Homesickness can be tough but it’s also an opportunity to learn about yourself and the world around you. You can make the most of this experience by trying new things and being open to new experiences.

Step 6: Plan a visit home

homesick visit home

If you’re feeling especially homesick, you can plan a visit home during school breaks. Spending time with your loved ones can provide a much-needed emotional boost and recharge your batteries.

In conclusion, homesickness is a common experience for college students studying far from home. It’s important to cope with homesickness by staying connected with family and friends, creating a connection to home, getting involved in activities on campus, reaching out for help, being open-minded, and planning a visit home. By taking these steps, students can overcome homesickness and make the most of their college experience.

It is important to remember that homesickness is a normal feeling and that it will eventually pass. By staying connected with loved ones, finding activities that you enjoy, and being open to new experiences, you can make the most of your time away from home. Remember that you are not alone in this experience and that there are people who are willing to help you. Reach out for help if you need it and take the time to take care of yourself and your mental health.

7 Top Tips to Beat Exam Stress in 2023

cope with stress at uni banner

Exam stress is a common experience for many students, but it doesn’t have to be something that you simply endure. There are several strategies that you can use to help beat exam stress and anxiety, and to improve your performance.

In this article, we will guide you through some useful tips to help you beat exam stress in 2023.

Follow these 7 top tips to beat exam stress this year:

1. Create a Study Plan

study plan to beat exam stress

One of the best ways to beat exam stress is to create a study plan. This will give you a sense of control and organization over your studying, and will also help you feel more prepared and confident. Make sure your plan is realistic and feasible, and stick to it.

2. Take Care of Yourself

take care of your self to beat study stress proprep

Make sure to take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and take time to relax and unwind. By managing to stay healthy at University, you will feel more energized and focused, and will also help to reduce stress.

3. Break Down Study Material into Manageable Chunks

break down workload to beat stress

Trying to take in too much information at once can be overwhelming and is likely to cause academic burnout. It’s better to break down the study material into manageable chunks and then focus on understanding each section before moving on to the next one.

4. Practice Relaxation Techniques

There are many relaxation techniques you can use to help reduce stress and anxiety, such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. Try a few and see which one works best for you.

5. Don’t Compare yourself with Others

Don't compare to beat exam stress

It’s easy to compare yourself with others and feel inadequate, especially during exams. Remember that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and that you are capable of doing well.

6. Find a Support System

support system to beat exam stress

Whether it’s friends, family, teachers, or a counselor, having a support system can be incredibly beneficial. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

7. Learn from Mistakes

find a support system to beat exam stress

Instead of dwelling on mistakes or setbacks, focus on what you can learn from them. This will help you to stay positive and motivated, and to move forward.

In conclusion, exam stress is a common experience for many students, but it doesn’t have to be something you simply endure. By making a study plan, taking care of mental and physical health, breaking down material into manageable chunks, practicing relaxation techniques, avoiding comparison, finding a support system, and learning from mistakes, you will be well on your way to reducing stress and anxiety during exams and improving your performance. It is important to remember that preparing well and having a positive attitude is the key to success.

Another important aspect to consider is the preparation and management of time, and avoiding procrastination. It’s important to avoid cramming the night before the exam, it’s better to study and review material in advance, so you can have time to digest and absorb the material.

Remember that experiencing exam stress is a natural part of the college experience, but with the right mindset, you can develop the skills to manage it and achieve your academic goals.

Our guide to staying healthy at university

Student life is full of tons of new experiences. Juggling lectures, studying, parties, and work can cause you to put staying healthy at university on the back burner. The lure of cheap and tasty fast food can steer you away from fresh fruit and veg more than you realize. As well as this, it’s easy to count clubbing as your own cardio. While you might get energetic on the dance floor, it’s less effective if you’re downing sugary drinks and snacking on late night chips afterwards.

Staying healthy at university is about building good habits and making it as easy as possible to stick to them, even under pressure. For many, uni is the first time they’re making decisions without their parents around to remind (or nag at) them. Here are a few bits of advice for staying healthy at uni and ways to make it easier to stick to your health resolutions. 

1. Start by making good sleep a priority

When we say make sleep a priority, it doesn’t mean sleeping past that first (or second) lecture because you were having another late night. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, especially when the days are filled with studying, lectures, work, and more. Without sleep, you’ll be grumpy and struggle to socialize. When you do study, you’ll find it hard to stay focused.

While it can be tough to head home before the party’s over, getting to bed at a reasonable time is crucial. You might have FOMO in the moment, but you’ll thank yourself later. Don’t be tempted to pull all-nighters when you’re behind on work either! Professors would prefer you ask for an extension than hand in something you blearily threw together at 4 AM.

2. Try to get moving daily

Exercise has so many benefits. It can improve your ability to remember the crucial points of your lectures and studies. This means you’ll be able to concentrate better and think more critically. It’s normal not to always feel like getting up to go for a ramble or hitting the gym. However, experts say if you do, you’ll feel better afterwards because exercise boosts your mood. And if you have difficulty getting to sleep on time every night, a good workout can help tire you out. By bedtime, you’ll be ready to relax. 

Your uni will have a ton of sports clubs and groups at all levels. Joining one can be a great way to meet people you’d never have come across, as well as keeping fit. If you prefer to work out alone, try running, yoga, or swimming.

Need a way to get active every day but don’t have the time? Take your bike to uni and pedal around instead of taking the bus. Your travel time has now become your work-out time – doubly efficient!

Student doing yoga on laptop as part of staying healthy at university
Photo credit: Luke SW, Shutterstock

3. Your diet makes a significant impact—plan ahead

Chips, pizza, and convenient takeaway can quickly become a daily habit. Not getting enough nutrients can obviously affect you physically. It can also make it harder to concentrate on your work and remember the things you’re there to study. Because many students are on the go all day, planning is essential. Choose a quieter day each week and prep your meals in advance. Have them ready in the fridge for fast grab-and-go. 

4. Drink of choice? 

It sounds too good to be true, but water will do you wonders. Many people don’t realize how vital staying hydrated is, especially after a fun night out. Stop drinking alcohol before you’ve had too much, and make sure to pound the water before you go to sleep.

It’s a simple step for a simple habit—get a refillable water bottle and keep it with you. Some even have marks on the side, so you can track your water intake throughout the day!

Water bottles with hourly intake markings as part of staying healthy at university.
Photo credit: HYDRATE, Amazon

5. Doctors and dentists are so important to staying healthy at university

If you’re heading to uni and it’s far from home, remember to sign up with a local doctor and dentist. Don’t hesitate go to them when you’re not feeling quite right. While students tend to be a fairly healthy group overall, sometimes issues pop up that need attention. Your sore throat that hasn’t gone away for weeks, or a run-down feeling that no amount of sleep can fix. A painful tooth, or blurry vision. Any of these probably mean it’s time to head in for a checkup. Lots of clinics in student areas also have drop-in hours when you can visit without an appointment.

6. Your mental health matters, too

Your mental health can impact your physical health, and vice-versa. And university life is full of new changes and pressures that can get to anyone. If you need help, reach out. Many universities have tons of resources for students, and your doctor is another resource. Don’t wait to speak up when stress levels get too high. While studying, schedule frequent breaks to move your body and chat to friends. 

Practice healthy habits for uni success 

Your time at university can be a fantastic learning experience for your course of study and the life experience you’ll get. But don’t forget to take care of your health! You’ll get much more out of your time there and feel better during the process.