December 8, 2023, by aqykd2
Going Home after Uni for the first time.
For some it’s after 3 months, but for others, we are away from our families and home for a year! Going home for the first time after acquainting yourself with the university life can be enriching or disappointing. I’m here to share my experience as an International student flying back home for the first time in 9 months.
Despite the many low moments I had in my first year, I recall feeling nostalgic for only the nicest things. I found myself reminiscing about the most cherished memories. Be it the moments, places, or people that had become a part of my life in the past year. It was a nostalgic reflection, one filled with a sense of accomplishment for having embraced a new environment and learning so much about myself in the process. I was ready to finally meet my family back home and tell them all about my time here. But my experiences after returning home couldn’t have been further away from my expectations.
University abroad is a massive investment for international students. So the questions that I couldn’t seem to escape were: “What did you learn?” And “How was it any different to how you study here?”. It was overwhelming because the most profound lessons I had gained during that year weren’t confined to education. I had learned about self-discovery, forging new friendships, navigating unfamiliar territories, ensuring my safety, and the art of self-sufficiency. I had learned how to make a living as an individual and, most importantly, how to make decisions for myself. I had grown more confident and independent. Yet, these were not lessons that came from formal education; they were the products of the entire experience of living and studying abroad.
Returning home, I realized that the true value of my international education was not merely in the academic knowledge. Rather, it lied in the personal growth and transformation I had undergone. I had become more adaptable, open-minded, and culturally aware. My horizons had expanded in ways that couldn’t be measured by grades or certificates. While it was challenging to articulate these intangible gains to those who asked, I knew within myself that the experience had been profoundly enriching.
I share my experiences here today, to empathise with everyone who found returning home for the first time to be a mixed bag of emotions. There is comfort in living among people and having someone to care for you. But it’s equally important to yearn for personal growth and appreciate little accomplishments!
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