As an Indian, having a sense of achievement and ambition when traveling and studying abroad is perfectly normal and acceptable. Studying abroad takes courage and requires you to jump into the unknown. Overseas study exposure is an exciting and motivating experience; however, the planning and execution of this endeavour can be overwhelming for most aspirants.
Of course, with all the travel apps, Facebook groups, and travel guides, it has become easier to be aware of the current situation. You are still trying to figure out what to expect from traveling before going abroad.
Are you feeling stressed about planning your study abroad journey?
The feeling of change and adjusting to new surroundings can be challenging for those leaving their home country shortly for a foreign land. Besides applying for a visa, passport, flight booking, accommodation, and shopping for essential items, many students need to pay more attention to their “emotional preparation.” They tend to neglect their mental and emotional health while saying goodbye to their loved ones and start feeling depressed as they land in an unknown territory.
Adjusting to a new way of life, academic expectations, financial challenges, balancing work and school, and navigating relationships can be a source of anxiety for many international students. You can feel better and more confident if only you organize your tasks and manage your thoughts effectively. Moreover, you can achieve an overall smooth and successful experience.
Here are some strategies to help you control stress and anxiety during the planning process:
- Break it Down, and Stay Organized: Break your planning tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Create a checklist or timeline to help you stay organized. Focus on one task at a time to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Keep all necessary documents, such as passports, academic records, and financial documents, in one place. Create digital copies as backups. Maintain a folder or digital file for all correspondence and paperwork related to your overseas studies.
- Seek Support: Reach out to family, friends, or mentors with experience studying abroad. Share your concerns and seek their advice and guidance. Join online forums or communities of fellow students planning to study overseas for additional support.
- Research and Prepare: Gather information about your destination, the university, and the requirements for studying abroad. Being more aware of the procedures is the key. I recommend researching visa processes, housing options, and financial considerations to alleviate uncertainties.
- Learn about your study destination: To prepare for your study destination, research the country’s culture, lifestyle, people, food, climate, and language. It will give you an idea of what to expect and help you respond accordingly. How about gathering lot of valuable information by reading blogs, watching YouTube videos, or researching the city or town you’ll be staying in.
- Being prepared will prevent surprises and allow you to navigate your new surroundings confidently.
- Time Management: Create a schedule that allows dedicated time for planning tasks and self-care activities. Prioritize your tasks and allocate specific time slots for studying, researching, and relaxation. Balancing your time can reduce stress and increase productivity.
- Self-Care is a must: Taking care of your physical and mental well-being will be a good investment. Ensure regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and a balanced diet every day. Another good way to ensure a holistic approach is to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness to calm your mind and alleviate anxiety.
- Reach out to Educational Consultants: Seek guidance from educational consultants or study abroad advisors who can provide expert advice, help with paperwork, and answer your questions. Their expertise can ease your worries and ensure you have sufficient information to decide on future action.
- Stay Positive and Flexible: Embrace a positive mindset and remind yourself of the exciting opportunities. You need to understand that some plans may change along the way. It is better to be adaptable and open-minded rather than dwelling on setbacks.
- Seek Professional Help if Needed: There’s no harm in contacting a mental health professional or counsellor if stress and anxiety become overwhelming. They can provide support and teach coping strategies. That will help you navigate the emotional challenges associated with planning for overseas studies.
- Connect with other international students: As a global student, joining any international student clubs or societies at your university is a good idea. These clubs offer you a reliable support system to make friends with other international students. You can get tips and advice about living in a foreign country. It is an opportunity to interact with local students to learn about different cultures and people.
Getting an overseas stamp is an incredible opportunity for personal/profession growth and cultural immersion. If you learn to be smart enough to take proactive steps to deal with stress & anxiety, you can make the planning process smoother and thoroughly enjoy the journey of studying overseas.
Happy exploring the overseas world!
Love from Soul