Are You an International Student Experiencing Challenges in the Country You are Visiting?
Living and studying in a different country can be a great adventure. It provides a chance for personal and professional growth. It can be both one of the most intense and exciting times of your life.
Living abroad can also bring up some challenges. Sometimes you may encounter some of the following:
- Loneliness / Isolation
- Alienation due to the language barrier
- Feeling exhausted
- Lack of motivation
10 Ways to Ease a Transition To a New Country
- Be clear on your purpose for studying in a different country because this will get you through when your life or your studies becomes difficult.
- Find ways to continue your hobbies such as playing sports, arts, chess, cooking, dance class, hiking, etc.
- Try new activities that you would not have a chance to do in your home country.
- Create a balance for yourself between book learning and learning through experience. Learning through experience can include shopping, buying groceries, riding public transit, visiting new places, and making friends with people who share your interests and hobbies.
- Have meals with your home stay family so that you can practice English and learn about the local culture.
- Watch mainstream and alternative TV shows – this is excellent way to learn the everyday spoken language.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need help with your banking, finding a particular place, or other questions find someone to ask such as school staff, home stay family, or a friend
- Accept any mistakes as a learning process.
- Understand that you may have some degree of culture shock during your stay.
- Have a sense of humor.
If you feel that you are having a very difficult time with your stay as an international student and you don’t seem to be getting better, you may want to seek out a counsellor. Seeing an experienced counsellor can help you re-connect to your hopes and purpose for studying abroad and help you deal with the challenges.
Counselling can help you:
- Gain clarity
- Get you back on track for the purpose of your studies
- Increase motivation
- Overcome fears and insecurities
- Increase your energy
- Balance your identity and your adaptability
- Strengthen your internal and external resources
- Make the most of your stay
- Find new friends
- Understand your personal values and live them in a different culture
- Overcome painful challenges
Klaus is a counsellor who has lived, worked, and traveled in different countries in Europe and Asia. He understands the difficulties faced when living in another country.
Personal and Professional Experience of Klaus Klein:
- Language student living and traveling in different countries outside of Canada
- Lived and studied in Europe for a year
- Enjoys working with different cultures and languages
- Lived in Japan for 14 years as a student and as a teacher
- Taught ESL in Vancouver to students from all over the world
- Understands the complexities of culture shock and adaptability
- Has been a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC since 2002
- Is excited to work with and help people whose language and culture is from outside of Canada
For a Free 10-minute consultation call 604-786-0709.
Klaus Klein, MA, RCC
KDK Counselling services
for the Burnaby area.