The Great British Mag content team published the article What NOT to expect before studying abroad on 13 December 2019.
Once you’ve decided to study abroad in the UK, you’ll probably create an idea of what you want your experience to be like. Maybe you’ve thought about the person you want to become – more outgoing, more adventurous, more studious.
It’s definitely great to have goals and personal aspirations, but after speaking with past international students, they’ve told us that setting too many expectations can possibly hinder your experience. So we’ve gathered a list of a few things *not* to expect while studying abroad, all from previous students who went through it all.
Don’t expect your school load to be light
The teaching style between the UK and your home country will usually be different, including how assignments are marked/graded, and it takes time to adapt and adjust.
Don’t expect your new city to be like it is in movies or TV
The entertainment industry often plays on stereotypes, which can lead to false conceptions about what your experience may be like. The city has a different effect on everyone, so take time to get to know your relationship with it and try not to let those misconceptions take over.
Expect to be homesick, at least to some extent
While some people think homesickness isn’t their thing, everyone misses something about their home country. Whether that be a certain food, a morning routine or a person. Being abroad often reminds you of what you love most about home, and it’s normal to long for normal, especially in a time of change.
Don’t think you’ll never get your old life back
You may see posts online of your friends in your home country all together and realise that life is still going on without you. However, when you return, everyone will be excited to see you and you’ll get back into the swing of things sooner than you realise. Embrace being the cool one abroad!
Don’t expect to feel like doing something every day
While you may come into the experience wanting to pack every weekend and evening with festivals, tours and events, everyone needs a day off eventually. You’ll find that taking a rest day will oddly make you feel more connected to the place you are studying in!
Don’t expect to instantly make friends abroad
Especially if you come alone, it can take a while to become comfortable with other people. Give yourself time to get to know everyone and friendships will naturally follow.
Don’t expect the food to be bad
A common stereotype about British culture is the food isn’t great, but this is actually a misconception carried over from the war when food was rationed.
Don’t expect studying abroad to not to change your personality in some way
Every once in a while, people come abroad and expect to leave as the same person. Or maybe their friends at home expect them to come home as the same person. But the truth is, something about the abroad experience changes a person at their core.
With all of the hard experiences, you inevitably learn a lot about yourself and will most likely walk away from the experience with a little more confidence.