Even if it is exciting, change is not always easy to cope with. That is why the first weeks at university can be terrifying, especially if you are an international student who just arrived in a new country. During my transition from Romania to the UK, I encountered 5 challenges of studying abroad.
- Getting used to a new teaching system: Whereas in my country the basis of learning is individual work, I was surprised to see that in most of my classes here, we are supposed to work in teams. Having the lecture notes at my disposal before the actual class and being able to refer to them anytime just by using Blackboard was also new to me. Even more surprising was that I didn’t have a busy schedule with only 4 lectures a week, which comes in handy if you want to get a job. Of course, here the focus is more on you studying independently, which I quite enjoy.
- Adjusting to a new routine/ Independence: We all know that whilst at home, we have our moms to worry about having to cook every day or going groceries shopping every week. When coming to university, these became my chores, which I found very hard at the beginning. However, my mom’s cooking tips are just a phone call away (though I am proud to say I’m not asking for her help as often) and I now find shopping for food quite relaxing. Who would have thought?
- Missing home : During my first weeks in Worcester, I felt caught between two worlds. I was embracing my new student life and missing my normal one, the one I was used to and I loved so much. When I went home for Christmas however, I involuntary made comparisons between my life at university and my life at home, in Romania. As much as I missed it, I couldn’t deny that my city was not as familiar as it once was, which was a bit upsetting. I did however have a great time with my family and friends, telling everyone about my time in England.
- Establishing new friendships : Before moving to England, I was nervous I would not find anyone who’d understand me and like my crazy personality. I couldn’t have been more wrong, as I met new people and made a lot of friends, who I love spending time with.
- Submitting assignments : That is a funny story ! When I finished my first assignment, I was very proud of my work. Turned out I was completely wrong ! My cousin literally deleted half of it, saying it was not the right approach and I have to write everything again. That ended up in tears, I have to admit, but guess what? I GOT AN A+ for that project!!!! My next assignments were definitely better as well…I think it’s safe to say that even if we have to deal with these personal and social challenges, university is still worth it, as I personally got my first taste of independence, I made new friends, discovered exciting opportunities and experienced incredible moments.