Adjusting to University; an International Student Perspective – OurWarwick
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Adjusting to University; an International Student Perspective

Isabel Quah
Isabel Quah | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Isabel

Besides the notion of having to wrap your head around the fact that you will be embarking on a whole new chapter of your life; while it is exciting there is a tendency for many worries and concerns that constantly plague incoming freshers minds. To name a few concerns in particular; these tend to relate to adjustment, culture shock and friendships as being some of the main ones.

Moving to a whole new country by yourself, where not only are the people around you complete strangers but the environment as well, can be very stressful and consequently take an emotional toll. Speaking from my own experiences, I remember being very anxious about adjusting to my new/mostly independent life in a country, I had never been to, let alone lived in. As I have had my fair share of moving around and living in multiple countries across Europe and Asia throughout my life, I never could fully prepare myself for the adjustment period I was faced in during the first few months being at Warwick. Rest assured it is as many say, and things get better over time. soon your day to day schedule will become habitual and you may only remember fleeting moments how your daily routine was back during secondary school. By the end of the first term I felt much better and pretty much comfortable making my way around campus and the nearby areas surrounding campus as well.

The biggest factor for me was, experiencing moments of anxiety and homesickness within my first few weeks at university. This was particularly because I was still not entirely familiarised with my surroundings and I was at the same time coping with Freshers flu and having to take care of myself. The best way to overcome these bouts of homesickness and worries are to be open to new experiences and this will help you adjust to your surroundings until you get used to the structure of new daily schedule. If homesickness is one of your biggest worries along with culture shock and not being able to adapt to the local habits as quickly as you would like; seek out some of the cultural societies with students from your home country. This is the best way to get to know students who share the same cultural background as you and you can use this as means of a support system for one another. Just make sure you try not to box yourself in entirely to the cultural society and try and mingle with locals and make friends from other societies as well. International student orientation is actually the best way to get used to your new life at Warwick and I can personally vouch for this. Some of my closest friends were the ones I met during orientation and many of the induction activities organised by the orientation team are very fun and engaging.

If you still feel significantly worried, keep in mind everyone if not majority of the freshers who will be attending orientation with you will be experiencing similar feelings. As a large population of the student body in Warwick is composed of international students there will definitely be people who can empathise with what you are going through. Take this as a learning experience as it will help develop you into an individual who can adapt and assimilate into new surroundings and remember university is about learning and new experiences.

Isabel Quah
Isabel Quah | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Isabel

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