Apart from these challenges, there are other areas affecting both the education and life of international students: finance, language barriers, visa problems, culture shock and homesickness, to name a few.
With international students facing these inevitable hurdles while studying abroad, we thought we would share some tips on how to deal with these problems effectively.
Language barriersEven if you have been studying English for many years, learning to understand everyday Australian English can be a challenge. Also, the style of speech and jargon can sometimes differ from one region or state to another.
While socialising may seem hard at first, it is probably the best way to overcome the language barrier. Your school is the perfect place to start making friends. The more you use English when communicating with your friends, the more comfortable and confident you will become in your communication.
Visa problemsOnly if you enroll in a registered course on a full-time basis and can pass the visa requirements and conditions in Australia will you be granted a student visa. Once in Australia, your right to remain in the country depends on several factors, including the expiry of your visa, and whether you are maintaining your student immigration status.
To avoid having problems with your visa, make sure you follow all the rules of your student status. If you plan on changing your course or institution, be sure to speak with your IDP education counsellor so that you can be guided on what to do.
Australia is a very multicultural country; you can find people from different cultures and nations living together here. Still, the “land down under” has its distinct culture that may be different from your own. As with any foreign culture, some foreign students can find a culture change confronting at times.
If you are in this situation, try to keep calm and take things easy. Accept the cultural differences and keep an open mind. Eventually, you’ll learn to adapt to the changes and be able to integrate yourself into the Australian way of living.
HomesicknessLeaving your family behind to study overseas can be both difficult and painful. Although this challenge is hard to deal with, consider your new friends as part of your family. If you are having difficulty while you are away, it pays to speak to someone in confidence about how you are really feeling. If this doesn’t help, you can book an appointment for a counselling service for international students in your institution to help you.
So…you’ve met new people, joined clubs, accustomed yourself to the new life, studied hard, and done well in your exams? If you still find yourself unhappy in any way, reach out for help. Don’t struggle alone; you can contact your university’s counselling service for assistance.
It’s important to remember that help is always available in Australia in times of crisis through non-profit organisations outside of your institution, such as Lifeline. Just dial 13 11 14 and seek help if you are struggling with the change. Alternatively, contact your city’s IDP Education student services office for friendly advice any time.