Far from Home: The Trials of Studying Abroad


-Deva Narayan

It has always been the dream of many Indian children to study abroad and pursue their careers in a foreign country. However, many struggles accompany education abroad. Many students are often inexperienced for these kinds of struggles, sometimes minor and sometimes devastating. Hence, when one finds a college to study abroad, they should consider the place and the environment around them as well before getting on a flight.

The most common issue that is seen among students is a cultural difference between them and the natives. Indian culture and Western culture are like night and day, there are many differences, and they are united on very few topics. A common example of this can be seen just in the form of the food itself, where most Western food is made with less seasoning, in contrast with Indian food which is heavily dependent on seasoning. Festivals and events happening abroad are also celebrated differently. Christmas is a very important holiday for many parts of the Western World, such as the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Christmas in India is still important, though not as celebrated as abroad.

Another issue that arises easily is the climate. Western countries are diverse in their seasons, with many having all 4 seasons summer, spring, winter, and autumn. As the climate changes, Indian students may find it difficult to adapt in the early stages as all of these climates require different types of clothing and lifestyles as well. Most of India only has a few seasons, with alternation between summer and winter/monsoon. Hence, many Indians’ bodies’ are not suited to such intense climate change in the West. Among these, Australia is unique as it has opposite times of seasons compared to other Western countries. Summer in Australia is in the October-January period and winter is in the June-August period.

These are surface-level issues. Many foreign nations also form other niche yet tough problems for students. Finding suitable and affordable accommodation in foreign countries can be a major challenge for Indian students, especially in cities with high rental costs and limited housing options. They may encounter difficulties in securing accommodation close to campus, navigating rental agreements, and dealing with housing-related issues such as maintenance, safety, and accessibility. The United Kingdom is particularly known for the increasing rates of accommodation which can be difficult to manage for some students. Medical care in the U.S. is very expensive, with even small treatments costing up to thousands of dollars without the right insurance.

The road to success is not paved with smooth stones, it is often a rocky road that is off the beaten path and is sometimes spiky. Although many feet are injured in the process, success always lies in the end. To navigate through life in a different country, one must have a steely mindset and the capability to accept challenges. Problems such as these are easily manageable and many have done so for decades. Exaggerating them is often the cause of creating tension behind them. It is important to remember not to give your problems power but to use it yourself instead.

Note: The viewpoints and stances articulated in the article are the author’s personal views and may not necessarily align with those of the edu news team.

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