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6 Challenges Exchange Students Encounter While Learning Overseas

Studying overseas is an exciting experience that opens up unique opportunities. A lot goes into the decision to continue your education abroad, and the pros always outweigh the cons. However, there are challenges to be expected. Most of them are manageable, so they shouldn’t discourage you from a good education. Here are some of the common challenges international exchange students face and how you can overcome them. 

Finding Good Accommodation 

For almost all colleges globally, the on-campus dorms fill up quickly, and as an exchange student, you should plan for a life outside campus. It will mean having to pay more money to find suitable accommodation. It’s difficult to find a reasonably priced rental with security, space, good water pressure, and other useful features. 

You also have to beware of scammers who prey on new students by posting fake photos of apartments and asking for deposits from unsuspecting individuals. People lose money to these scams, so be careful and confirm your sources when looking for accommodation. 

Language Barrier 

Language barrier is among the most common issues students face when studying in a foreign country. It’s a challenge that affects even those who might have studied a foreign language; the locals often use slang terms that you’re not used to. It also takes some time to get used to the locals’ accent. 

All these can leave you feeling like an outsider for a while, but you will get comfortable speaking their language with time and practice. So fluency will come gradually. Writing in a new language can also be challenging, and that’s where some students opt to acquire online essay writing help

Differences in Currency

Learning to use a foreign currency is another challenge exchange students have to maneuver abroad. You should learn the current exchange rate before traveling to confirm you have enough funds to take care of yourself. The good thing is that you can use an online currency converter to familiarize yourself with the new currency. 

The differences in currency also extend to taxes. Most countries automatically include taxes in a product’s price. In the U.S, things are a little bit different as taxes are calculated on top of the price tag. 

The currency difference also means there are a few slang terms for money you need to learn. For example, in Canada, a one-dollar coin is a ‘loonie.’ Learning such slang will help avoid confusion at counters. 

The New Time Zone

Traveling and communicating between two time zones can be tricky. To call home, you would have to confirm what time it is over there. A neat trick you can use is finding the difference between the time zones and memorize it. So, when you have to make a call or travel, you can add or subtract the hours in your head. 

Home Sickness 

Spending time away from your family and loved ones long enough will take a toll on you. It starts a few days or weeks after you travel and you often feel it when you’re bored or doing nothing. So, be active most of your days in the new school. Find activities that can get your mind off it, such as working out or joining a club. 

Making friends is another way of countering the effects of missing your family. But the most important way you can handle this issue is to stay in touch with your loved ones. Call or video chat when you can to catch up. 

The Difference in Climate

You might read about it in blogs while conducting your research but experiencing the weather in a foreign country is something you can’t normally predict. For example, you might read that it gets cold in a specific country during particular seasons, but when you get there, you realize you’ve never experienced that level of cold before, so there’s nothing to compare it to. 

It is one of the things you have to get used to, and with the right attire, you should be fine. Observe the regional characteristics of clothes the locals wear and carry to determine what you need to buy. If your finances are tight, search for second-hand stores to get the clothing you need. 

Closing Remarks

Getting used to a new country and a new school will take some time, so be patient. The above are just some of the main issues you can expect and should help you be better prepared. Stay positive and focus on your goals. Your education should be your priority; everything else can come later.

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