May 16, 2014, by International students
Why studying abroad will change your life forever
Puedes leer la version en español del blog de Javiera aquí.
Hola! My name is Javiera, I am Chilean and I am a postgraduate student at The University of Nottingham. Working as an international student caller, my role is to provide offer holders with information about student life in Nottingham, as well as answering any questions regarding the University. From speaking to so many applicants, I’ve realised that a main concern for international students is how the locals will receive them and how fast they can adjust to the cultural differences. Hopefully, this will put your mind at ease.
Bad news first: it is very true that initially you will experience culture shock, and you’ll probably feel that your English is not as great as you had thought. However, in my opinion, the best way to overcome this is to start meeting people as soon as you settle in because quickly you will realise that most of them are going through the same thing and trust me, you will get the accent eventually. It is really important that you understand that making the decision to study abroad already makes you a brave person so you might as well forget any fear and enjoy this great experience.
On the positive side, in my experience, the United Kingdom is a very welcoming place for international students. Not only because Britons’ politeness is outstanding and the accent is incredibly charming, but also there is such a mixture of cultures it is difficult to feel out of place. At The University of Nottingham, you will be a part of an international community where you will make friends from all around the world; for me, this has been truly what has enriched my life the most. Learning different languages, customs and traditional food from different countries is incredibly interesting but what I love the most is that you form a small family which will be your main support team for the year and with whom you will experience so many wonderful things it will make you forget you miss home. It will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy your time abroad.
My advice for you is to commit to enjoy the year and make the most out of this experience. Embrace the unknown and learn about different realities; getting to know yourself is a hard task and I’ve learnt that when you are far from your natural scenario and step out of your comfort zone it is easier to discover another side of you. In my case I’ve discovered I can actually cook, which may sound silly to you but I honestly could not handle a pan!
In the end, no matter how scared you are or how many ups and downs you go through, it will change you for the better. It will make you feel more confident in whatever you do and it will make you see the world with very different eyes.
Best of luck!
Javiera, MSc Corporate Strategy and Governance student from Chile.