Being an international student, challenges that you may face
For many students studying abroad sounds exciting as it gives a unique opportunity to gain a great academic experience. However, before making a decision to study in a different country, one should realize that there is a number of different factors to be considered before enrolling into the educational institution abroad.
Studying in countries with the same language
Even if you are the US citizen and made your decision to study in a country with the same language, for example, United Kingdom, you might still find studying in this country quite challenging. For many, it is not easy to integrate into the learning environment. Even though the language is the same (English), the accent and some other linguistic and cultural aspects should be taken into consideration, as they influence greatly on the international student being able to adapt to academic rules, which are common in this country.
Studying in the countries with a language different to your native one
Moving to the country language of which is very different from yours might be really difficult. Even if you are a very talented and determined person, integration into the foreign academic environment and local community might be not so easy. It would be great to move to another country with a friend who has a decent (or at least sufficient) knowledge of the foreign language, in order to help you out with the translation at least during your adaptation time.
Acceptance of cultural differences
The beliefs and traditions of each country can differ drastically. It concerns food, communication, clothing, religion, a way of thinking etc. It is important to study culture of the country of your destination beforehand, in order to stay safe and avoid harming feelings of other people. However, one should realize that the main and most fruitful experience will be received when you stay in a foreign country for some time. Just make sure you are careful, loyal and respectful to the traditions of natives.
Dealing with climatic changes
For some international students, experiencing climate change is quite stressful. Adapting is not always easy, but being prepared in terms of getting your wardrobe renewed according to a new weather and, most importantly, according to your liking, will make accepting unpleasant consequences of climate changes less noticeable and stressful, and perhaps, more joyful.
Staying away from friends and family in a different country (or even continent) may be hard to overcome without being stressed out. It might feel embarrassing to feel homesick since you are a full-grown adult, but there is nothing wrong in feeling nostalgic about great times you had and great people you met or lived with. The trick is in understanding that the life moves on, and you have a lot of amazing things ahead of you. It does not mean that you have to get rid of the unforgettable memories from your past. Getting back home will only enhance all great experience you had before moving out to a different country.