Are you struggling to set your goals for the semester? this blog is here to help.
Life as an international student can be a whirlwind of emotions. There is the excitement of going to a new country and experiencing new cultures, the sadness of leaving your family and friends behind, and the loneliness you feel when you are in a new country missing your home.
Having stayed in Canada for over two years, I have learnt a lot about life, self-discovery, family dynamics and other aspects of my life that I have encountered during adulthood. Being an international student can be an expensive experience, because of things like tuition, housing fees, groceries and all other expenses that are paid in a currency different from your home country.
Culture Shock is one of the first experiences you encounter. It happened to me as soon as I landed at the airport, but it was not a bad experience because I had travelled out of my home country before. Coming here with my dad made transitioning a lot easier than it would have been if I came alone.
In my first year of university, I was enrolled in a college but I had to transfer to a university in my second year. This made the first year very intense because there was the pressure to transfer to SFU from FIC (Fraser International College) within three semesters, but I ended up transferring in 4 because I changed my major, which was one of my first major decisions as an adult.
Transferring to SFU opened a lot of opportunities and access to resources to help my experience as a student. Starting my 2nd year, I had to quickly figure out a major that I liked and the career opportunities that could come from it. As a student, my parents still have an influence when it comes to choosing my major, I ended up choosing Sociology (My OLC Story on Choosing my Major.) Although I love it as a field of study, it was not my main passion, because of that, I chose a minor that I had a passion for, and it has given me a good balance of studying and pursuing my passion.
The social aspect of international student life is difficult as well because you have to learn how to understand other people’s cultures to build relationships with people. There could also be a language barrier which makes communication hard and hinders building relationships. Having an open mind and exercising patience is a good ways to help navigate friendships across cultural barriers.
Being international has its fun sides because you become accustomed to two cultures and two places feel like home to you. I have learnt the act of discipline, maturity, independence and growing up with the realities of the world setting in and learning to adapt to situations.