The Five Stages of Studying Abroad
Moving away from home to a fairly unknown destination can be quite a daunting task and can cause a roller-coaster of emotions. Here is what you can expect to experience.
We’ve all heard of the five stages of grief – referred to as the Kübler-Ross model – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. A similar dynamic can be applied to the emotional journey of going and settling abroad for studies.
These days students are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the appropriate university, major and study destination. While being an advantage for some, it can be quite overwhelming for others and can cause your head to swim with confusion.
Once you’ve locked down your choice of program and location and gone through the grueling application process, it becomes quite easy to breathe a sigh of relief and be overly enthusiastic over the prospects of exploring a foreign land while gaining a high-quality international education.
3. Overwhelming Panic
Now that you’ve actually landed at your destination, you realise there are a tonne of things that need taking care of all at once, and more often than not you have to tackle them all on your own. The sudden influx of chores and errands, coupled with the fact that you’re a novice when it comes to your surroundings, can give way to panic and anxiety.
Once everything is done and and you’ve managed to check things off your task list, you will tend to have a lot more time on your hands, and your mind will start to draw parallels between your home country and your study destination. Homesickness is a phase every international student is likely to go through at some point. It is inevitable; but don’t let it get the better of you.
5. Adjustment and Settlement
As the adage goes, ‘time heals everything’. After spending a considerable amount of time in your international home, you’re bound to get accustomed to and even grow an affiliation for it and it might even start feeling like home. Once you reach this stage of your experience, you can finally say that you have reached the end of your ‘settling abroad’ experience.
About the Writer: Mariam Khawer is an Accounts and Finance graduate with a passion for the creative arts.