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Starting your first year of college is daunting for every student. Of course, studying abroad in Asia may add another layer of excitement and jitters. Leaving home — usually for the first time in your life — could give you mixed feelings. However, nothing will compare to the great experience you’ll have in your host country. Here are seven survival tips for your freshman year abroad in 2023.
1. Pack the Essentials
You can’t pack everything you own for your study abroad experience, so focus on the essentials — clothing, toiletries, medications, and electronics. You’ll also want to bring special items like an international plug adaptor, comfortable walking shoes, and a language dictionary. Additionally, essential travel documents — your passport, airplane tickets, vaccination forms, and travel health insurance information — are must-haves. Be sure to make copies of everything before you leave, including your passport and any important documents. Keeping a photocopy of your prescriptions will make requesting refills at international pharmacies much easier.
There’s much to explore while studying abroad in Asia, with plenty of opportunities to travel. Research your host country and surrounding countries for special events and celebrations—planning can save you money on flights, hotels, and hostels for weekend getaways. Creating a bucket list is an excellent way to sweeten your time abroad. You’ll want to make the most of your trip, whether you’re riding a trishaw in Malaysia or wandering through palaces and temples in Thailand. Also, jot down recommendations for tours, restaurants, monuments, and activities during your stay.
The beauty of studying abroad as a freshman is numerous students from different countries will share the same experiences as you. Find a way to connect with your peers, whether in your study abroad program or from the local area. It’ll make venturing into the unknown less scary and more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll have someone to study, explore and eat meals with. Bonding with your fellow study abroad students is bound to make for lifelong friendships.
Read more about how it is to study abroad: ALUMNI TALK – HOW STUDYING IN BALI CHANGED DIJANA’S LIFE
Gaining new experiences and meeting people is essential to your study abroad experience, but you should remember why you’re there. You will make it through your first year of college in Asia if you keep track of your grades, plan study time, and do your assignments early. College is an investment in your future — employers want to see you have the necessary competencies for jobs once you graduate. As a freshman, learning critical thinking and analytical skills will best prepare you for the professional world. Take your education seriously during your stay abroad.
Some students have difficulty leaving their families to study abroad, but technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch. You can connect with family and friends back home for free via social media, email, and video calls. Because there’s likely a significant time difference between your home and host country, try coordinating with everyone’s schedules in advance. That way, you can write your scheduled calls in your calendar and have something to look forward to weekly. It’ll help ease some of the potential homesickness.
Find out more about how you can prevent and deal with culture shock when you study abroad in Asia
Of course, homesickness is typical for any student, domestic or international. The adjustment can be especially tough for first-year students who’ve never lived away from home. While you want to enjoy your study abroad in Asia, booking a return flight right away may be comforting when you miss your loved ones. Count down the days until you pack up and head home. In the meantime, check off items on your bucket list and make the most of your trip overseas.
Studying abroad delivers a unique chance to immerse yourself in your host country’s language and culture. Although you’ll likely become well-acquainted by the end of your program, learning key phrases before you go will help you get around. Consider taking online courses through Babbel or Coursera and downloading language apps like Duolingo. You might also want to write down specific phrases in a notebook you can carry. A small leather-bound journal will hold up against wear and tear in your luggage or around town.
You might also want to read WAYS TO EASE INTO MALAYSIAN CULTURE AND TRADITIONS
There’s never been a more exciting time in your life than studying abroad in Asia in 2023. Wherever you go to school, you’ll gain life-changing experiences and create one-of-a-kind memories to look back on for the rest of your life. Attending your freshman year of college in a different country doesn’t have to be scary or stressful. Instead, find your sense of wanderlust and enjoy the ride. You’ll be thankful for the chance to see a different part of the world early in your college education.
Do you want to know more about how to study abroad? Then click here!
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.