The four aspects of studying abroad are similar to the aspects of university life that students talk about in general. Balancing our social, personal, and academic lives is not easy even when we are studying in our home city or country, let alone when we travel to a completely different place to do so. Therefore, we have decided to write this article and give you an overview of the aspects of studying internationally that many of our other articles relate to in one way or another.
The personal dimension of studying abroad is very important. It involves things like taking care of your physical as well as mental health. Cultivating a good relationship with oneself goes a long way to help you survive and thrive in a foreign environment where you might not have much else to hold onto! Of course, this is no excuse to become a recluse, and we will touch on that in a bit, but know that you should always try and put yourself first. After all, if you are suffering, you cannot very well help others or do well at school.
No person is an island. One of the four aspects of studying abroad has to include the social, which relates to things like your ability to make and keep friends as well as your capacity for networking. Surrounding yourself with good, helpful people will make your time abroad much easier and will at least partially mend the loneliness that you might be feeling from missing your people back home. Never neglect this very real and important human need.
We have put both of these concepts into one aspect because they are intermingled. This, of course, is the aspect concerned with your academics and the subsequent career prospects they can afford you. It relates to anything from your choice of university to how much you have decided to volunteer or even take up an internship. For a lot of international students, this can be the main aspect that they focus on. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it is important to remember that your success in this particular aspect depends quite a bit on how well you can balance out the other three as well.
Finally, this final aspect has to do with all of the practical parts of organizing your life. Did you manage to get your student visa on time and without any setbacks? How well are you versed in navigating the public transport of the area you will be spending most of your time in? Do you know how to stay safe? University students can often get so stuck in the theory of their studies that they forget that it is very important to think about these practical elements of living your new life in a foreign country. Make sure not to make that mistake.
The most important thing about these four aspects is realizing that, on their own, they can do very little. They are like the four pillars supporting the structure of your time spent studying abroad. If all four of them are taken care of, then the structure will be stable. Of course, the different pillars will vary in strength for different people, but it is important to remember not to completely neglect any one of them. We hope that you will find this useful!