Learning in a new environment: Challenges faced by NRI students

Being an NRI student can be extremely challenging at times. Be it in Asian or western countries, everything- the language, food, culture etc.- will be drastically different for the students. Once we adjust to the changes and accept things the way they are, then these difficulties would seem to be less important. But until then it is important to stay focussed and learn from our surroundings to make the best use out of education abroad. The first and foremost challenge that every international student has to face is the cultural shock you have to go through while you adjust to life in a new country. Of course, every country has its way of going about things and even if you are not averse to their ways it takes time to learn them.

The next thing that international students struggle with is communication. Whether it be a language barrier, difficulty understanding an accent or being too shy to talk, communication in a new country can be difficult. Even if you think that you are wrong or are too shy to start a conversation, try to go out and talk to people. That’s the only way you can start to understand them. One should not be scared of making mistakes; it’s a good way to learn things.

Home-sickness is another big challenge that you might have to face especially if you have gone alone and also because it takes time to make new connections/friends in a new city. The best thing you can do is to join clubs and organizations. You shouldn’t just wait for someone to approach you because there’s a chance it’ll never happen. Make friends, go hang out with some people, it’s not bad.

Keeping up with your finances can also be increasingly challenging if your family is not there with you. Getting a job might not be that difficult but keeping a hold of it could.

Even something as transportation which we all take for granted can be a problem for NRI students. Getting to know of the public transportation system of a country can be difficult to understand and get used to.

The educational system as a whole can be difficult for NRI students to understand. For instance terms of participation, homework, tests, and teaching methods could be new and it’s not uncommon for an international student to struggle with this aspect throughout the semester. Therefore we see that apart from the normal activities that every student must do, international students are exposed to a whole new set of challenges. But with some patience and focus on your goals, these obstacles can be overcome.

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