The beginning of anything is hard for anyone and there is no exception for an International Student. New life in a foreign country as a young adult will bring both good life and the discomfort. Life away from the comfort of home, adjusting to a well-developed foreign environment and keeping up to the standards of a new education style can be challenging to any new International student. To overcome these challenges students will need to consider some of the tools that may be essential to survive in a foreign land as an International student. In this article we are highlighting some of the more important tools that needs to be acquired as skills other than the academic qualifications. 

  • Learning the language culture 

For a student studying in a country where the language used is not their mother tongue, needless to say learning the language spoken by citizens of that country is very important. Academically every foreign student needs to have certain proficiency in the medium of instruction of the program they are following. For instance, a student studying a programme in English would be required to sit for the IELTS (International English language Testing System) and attain a certain proficiency level. Similarly, for a student studying a programme in Japanese would have to sit for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and so on. 

In some countries the medium of instruction would be different to the language spoken by the citizens of that country. So this is a challenge for many students wishing study abroad to overcome. Another challenge is the language spoken could be different to the language learnt through books and other instruction mediums. It is up to the student to get used to the spoken language of the people (Lingo).

In addition to the language there are other survival skills such as writing skills, listening skills, native etiquette and dress code. When trying to adhere to certain practices of the host country, students need to be mindful that they don’t compromise the values they have been brought up in their motherland. 

  • Developing Essential Soft skills 

The emphasis of the skills required in the more developed countries are different to the emphasis placed that we have been used to when undertaking our secondary schools or tertiary studies. Today the content we study is changing rapidly and replaced with new content all the time. Further, the requirement is not to have answers to questions, but have solutions to problems. In this respect we need to acquire and be proficient in certain skills that are essential for successful survival in a foreign land.  

Very broadly speaking these skills are digital literacy, communications skills, team work, critical thinking and analytical skills. It would be very beneficial for a student thinking of studying in a foreign country to acquaint themselves with what these skills mean prior to their departure. 

  • Co-curricular Engagement 

Co-curricular activities are an essential component of a student undertaking higher education overseas. These activities provide an opportunity for personal and professional growth via hands-on experience. Co-curricular activities assist students to acquire transferrable abilities such as critical thinking, time management, teamwork, capacity development, and dependability, to mention a few. Students can get the opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities by volunteering or undertaking internships as well as participating in relevant workshops and seminars. 


  • Future Planning 

It is drastically important to stick to the main objective of obtaining a high quality educational qualification from a well-developed country in spite of all hardships. In addition to getting the qualification students need to know the challenges they will have to face on completion of their studies and have a plan of what they wish to achieve ultimately. 

At International Scholar we are very experienced in guiding students on what they should be prepared with prior to their departure. Visit your trusted overseas education consultant, International Scholar and get free advice on how to prepare yourself for the new adventure of studying overseas.