• Study Abroad

Do's and Don'ts of Studying Abroad

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Jan 23,2024 10:08 AM IST

In pursuit of better higher education opportunities and better living standards, students from India opt to study abroad. Read ahead for what should be kept in mind when planning a successful and enriching student life in a new country.

Do’s and Don’ts of Studying Abroad.webp

More than a million Indian students planned their study abroad journey in 2024, with the numbers expected to increase in the upcoming years. Choosing to strengthen their resume with global education and work opportunities, Indian students are rapidly choosing to study in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand.

Studying abroad offers a unique set of challenges in terms of academic structure and cultural acceptance to Indian students. It is essential that Indian students understand the cultural etiquettes of a country and avoid what is not accepted in it. Read ahead for a few helpful tips that can help Indian students adapt and thrive in a foreign land.

What Should an Indian Student Do When Studying Abroad?

Getting an offer letter to your dream university and flight tickets to your destination country is one of the initial steps of your international education journey. Once you land in your host country, you must make the most of your time there. To do so, you will have to follow a few rules. 

Read ahead for what you should do when pursuing your graduation or post-graduation abroad:

Step out of your comfort zoneMany Indian students who plan to study in Canada or other countries get aboard a flight for the first time. That itself is a huge step outside their comfort zone. Considering it to be a huge step in their academic journey and personal growth, they must experience new things. Trying new cuisines, sports, and hobbies will help them explore their likes and dislikes. It will enrich their personality and help them expand their knowledge about the country. 
Prepare a Budget for the Duration of Studying AbroadThe cost of studying abroad is one of the major deciding factors for where to study. A detailed budget will help Indian students plan their expenses accordingly. 


Those planning their studies in Canada must thoroughly research the cost of living in Canada. Along with their tuition, stationary, and other educational expenses, their budget must include travel, food, entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses. 

Similarly, when planning their study abroad journey in the UK, Indian students must research the cost of studying and prepare a budget accordingly. It is equally important to limit miscellaneous expenses as much as possible and stick to the budget prepared. Doing so will help students enjoy their experience and utilize every penny judiciously.

list of all essentials and non essentials.webp


EssentialsNon-Essentials
Tuition & FeesClothing
AccommodationHaircuts and Beauty Appointments
UtilitiesGym Memberships
GroceriesDining Out
Mobile, Telephone, Wi-fi, TelevisionHousehold supplies
Health InsuranceClubbing, Dinners, Takeout, Alcohol, Taxi
Visa Application FeeMusic and Film Subscription Services
Books & Application SuppliesHobbies
TransportationSports Club Membership, Sports Kit


Dividing all expenses in a list of essentials and non-essentials will help students organize their budget judiciously. 

Develop Language ProficiencyIndian students must develop their language skills to excel in any country. Apart from taking expert guidance from IELTS and TOEFL trainers, students must improve their language skills through online tutorials, podcasts, and TV shows or movies. Doing so will help in improving conversational skills, understand specific cultural references and grasp the different styles of English spoken in the host country.
Join Extra-Curricular ActivitiesUniversities and colleges offer many student-run organizations and societies that a student can join. Depending on personal interests, students can participate in sports, drama, music, debate clubs and societies. Actively participating in these clubs and societies is a great way to adjust in the new environment of a new country. Further, students can make new friends and explore their university with them.
Immerse in the Culture of Your Host CountryAdjusting to a foreign culture can prove to be quite challenging for international students, specifically from India. One of the most common challenges is to deal with homesickness while studying abroad.  To prepare themselves for new cultural experiences, students must immerse themselves in the culture of their host country. 

Even before they have landed in their host country, Indian students must familiarize themselves with its social norms.

For example Canadian people value their policy and time. Students must make an effort to not be late for appointments and social occasions. When studying in America, students must understand its social and public culture.  American people prefer being addressed by their first name. However, unless invited to address a person by their first name, it is a good practice to address them by their titles such as Ms, Dr, or Professor and the last name. 
Protect Your DocumentsIt is a smart practice to have backup copies of all your official documents within close proximity. This will help you access them readily in case your university or immigration requests for them.

Hereunder is a list of documents that you should keep a backup of in case of any emergency:

• Passport
• Flight Documents
• Student Visa
• Admissions Letter
• Health Insurance
• Medical Records
• Prescriptions
• Academic Documents
• A list of Emergency Contacts
Understand the Grading System of Your Host CountryAs an international student, it is imperative that you keep up with your grades. To achieve that, understanding the grading system of your university or college will be beneficial. While India uses a 10 point GPA system, the grading system in other countries is different. Understanding how to calculate CGPA to percentage will help students keep a track of their academic achievements.
Research the Housing Options Available Indian students must research their living options for it largely impacts their expenses. It also affects how they travel to the university and around the city they live in. The housing options will depend on the university and its surroundings. For example, in UK, students can choose from varied types of accommodations such as shared dorms on the campus to private apartments off campus with customized amenities. 
Stay Connected with Family and FriendsWhile moving to a different country for studying abroad is exciting with diverse cultures and experiences, Indian students must stay in touch with their family back in India. Scheduling regular calls and video calls according to appropriate time zone will help them connect with their loved ones. Social media is a great way to connect with friends and family. It can also help in reaching out in case of an emergency. 

Every study abroad destination provides international students an opportunity to grow as professionals and gain access to many opportunities. To thrive in their study abroad journey, it is also important to understand what they must not do in their host country.

What should an Indian student not do when studying abroad?

The decision to study abroad is both fulfilling and thrilling. Settling in a new society has its own set of challenges. The transition, though difficult, can be a smooth one if students take notice of the following:

Don’t Befriend Just AnyoneInternational students are the most vulnerable in a new country. Hence, it is important to surround with people they can trust. Take your time in developing friendships with people you meet and be vary of the personal information you share with them.
Don’t Indulge in Mindless SpendingStudying abroad is an expensive affair. The tuition fee and cost of living of each country varies and so will be the budget. International students have limited avenues of earning while pursuing their education so it is important to limit their spending. Unnecessary expenses can pile up and affect the final budget.
Don’t CompareEvery international student journey is unique in its own way. Even before you plan your study abroad journey, understand that your experience regarding financial stress, cultural shock, homesickness, and work opportunities is going to be your own. Comparing your experiences with your peers or family relatives will pressurise you and ultimately not let you focus on your education.
Don’t Neglect Your Mental HealthTaking a few steps before and during the commencement of their study abroad journey can positively impact a student’s mental health. Life in a foreign country might be fast-paced and busy, but the following practices can help with the initial adjustment:

• Write a Journal
• Communicate with fellow international students
• Travel and click photographs
• Explore a café to visit regularly
• Establish an exercise routine

It is important to remember that the journey to better self-care is not linear. In case of having a dull day, don’t beat yourself up. Seek the required support and take each day as it comes. 
Don’t Partake in Risky ActivitiesInternational students are often not familiar with the laws and regulations of their host country. It is important to know the consequences of your actions. Avoid protest groups and volatile situations. You must never agree to meet anyone in a secluded area. Young university and college students are often easy targets for thefts or other crimes so, it is essential for them to stay alert at all times.
Don’t Isolate in a BubbleWhen in a foreign country, students must not limit themselves solely to activities or interactions with fellow international students from India. Embrace the diverse culture of your study abroad destination and engage with people from all walks of life. Participate in festivals and celebrations of Canada; explore the nightlife in Toronto, and make friends during your studying abroad journey. 


Conclusion

Studying abroad is an enriching experience for every student. It is important to enjoy and make long-lasting memories with friends. Consult the expert overseas consultants at Canam to take the first step towards your dream of global education. This comprehensive guide regarding the do’s and don’ts of studying abroad will come in handy when you land foot in your desired study abroad destination.

FAQ

To prepare a budget, students must research the cost of living, and tuition along with the miscellaneous expenses for a particular country. Dividing the budget into categories such as essentials and non-essentials will be beneficial. 
Indian students must avoid indulging in risky activities, such as breaking the law or interacting with strangers. 
Students must schedule regular calls and video chats with their friends and family back in India. They can utilize social media to share their study abroad experiences and connect with like-minded people.  Engaging in different clubs and societies will also help beat loneliness.
It is important to step out of the comfort zone and explore local cuisines and extracurricular activities. Interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Participate in local events and celebrations. 
The student must develop strong language proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL training, online tutorials, podcasts, or by engaging with locals. It is important for the students to understand the grading system of their host country and keep track of their academic progress. 

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