To become an international student, you need to fill in a lot of paperwork and meet many guidelines under your home country’s laws and your host country’s laws.
All of these, however, are small prices to pay if a degree from an international institute will help secure a high-paying job. With this hope in mind, many students complete the long process of getting to their new destination.
The surprise for most students is how different the new country is and how much more they have to do, whether that is visa-related or coursework-related tasks.
Here are some common mistakes that many international students make and how you can avoid them when studying abroad.
Mistake 1: Ignoring Visa Requirements
One of the most important responsibilities that an international student has on them is to maintain a legal immigrant status.
Maintaining status means staying in accordance with all the visa stipulations that may apply to your visa type.
The inability to stay in status is one of the costliest mistakes you can make as a student, especially if you are studying in popular destinations such as the UK or the US.
Many international students do not realize just how strict some of these regulations can be.
For example, if you are studying in the US, you have to take enough classes to qualify as a full-time student and you cannot work for more than 20 hours a week at a campus job.
Mistake 2: Not Attending Orientation
One thing that almost all colleges and universities offer is international orientation before the school session starts which is specifically designed for international students to be able to adjust better in their new home.
However, many international students are quick to refuse to attend orientation activities as ice-breakers and team-building games may seem too childish.
Although orientation can seem useless, it is one of your first opportunities to make some friends with plenty to talk about right away.
Try not to dismiss it before seeing the value in attending an orientation event and maybe introducing yourself to an unfamiliar face.
Mistake 3: Not Budgeting
Getting an international degree abroad can be extremely expensive, especially if your home country’s currency is weaker the host country’s currency.
The conversion rates and fees can quickly add up causing you to run out of money.
Maintaining a frugal lifestyle and budgeting is an absolute must when studying abroad so you do not end up with debt in a currency you cannot afford to keep up with anymore.
Funding and scholarships for international students are scarce. If you do find institutions that will grant scholarships for international students, make sure to give it your all when applying as it will help you immensely.
Scholarship applications will often ask for essays demonstrating why they should give you the money so make sure to write a great essay. If you are having trouble writing an essay like this, you can easily hire an essay writing service to do the job.
Getting an international degree not only requires a lot of courage but also more accountability as compared to what you would have in your home country. With no parents to guide you at each step of the way, completing your degree will be hard, but rewarding.
Make sure to keep an open mind when interacting with new people and try to step out of your comfort zone just a little bit now and then.
Being an international student can be an amazing way to experience a new culture if you let yourself go.