Choosing to study abroad is an extremely bold and brave decision. The demands of a higher education course are pressure enough, but factor in moving away from friends and family and it’s easy to see why so many people choose to stay at home and study. For those who do choose to study abroad, however, the rewards are plentiful. You get to experience a new culture, make new friends and get a top class education – just ask some of our students!
However, the prospect of studying abroad can be scary and can cause some prospective students to worry – this is only natural! These anxieties are understandable, but shouldn’t necessarily put you off studying abroad. Here are some of the common fears we’ve come across, and why you shouldn’t worry about them.
By far one of the most common anxieties expressed by foreign students is the language barrier. Imagine moving somewhere where only a few people can understand your native language while everyone else speaks a language you don’t fully understand. How can you expect to communicate?
There’s no doubt that the language barrier can present an issue but perhaps not as much of an issue as you may think, particularly if you happen to be on an intensive English course! Through lessons and experience, you should be able to pick up on the basics of the English language enough to communicate and get around without trouble.
There will, of course, be instances where you won’t be able to convey exactly what you want to say. If you choose to study in a diverse city such as Manchester, however, you’ll find the local population is patient enough to wait for you to find your words or able to pick up on what you’re trying even if you can’t express it in perfect English.
Interacting with native speakers is also a great way to try out what you’ve learnt, as well as developing your language skills.
It’s natural that when you leave your home country behind for a nation in which your language isn’t spoken primarily that you’ll feel lonely. Leaving family and old friends behind can also impact your mood and many students find the first few weeks abroad difficult.
However, a great deal of students soon finds that this passes. As a location to learn English, Manchester is perhaps one of the best – not only do we have plenty of native speakers, but we also have a big population of people learning English too. The chances are that you’ll meet someone in the exact same situation as you (perhaps even from the same country) and you’ll soon bond.
Colleges and universities also do their best to build friendships between fellow international students, with regular trips out and activities. Many of our students make friends for life while studying at college. Remember, studying abroad does not mean studying alone!
Grasping a new culture can be extremely difficult; take a look at the traditions of any country other than your own and you are bound to find customs that don’t seem to make little to no sense whatsoever. However, it is important to respect the traditions of a nation while living there. For some, getting to grips with this culture shock can seem too much.
However, you are not alone. Most education institutions accepting foreign students, including New College Manchester, will prepare students for what to expect and how to behave. You will also learn from experience.
The best approach to a new culture is to embrace it entirely, which is why we regularly organise trips for our students to some of England and Manchester’s finest landmarks. Many students find that experiencing this new culture is one of the best aspects of their time here!
Studying abroad can be a daunting and worrying experience but with the right support and friends, you’ll soon find that you settle into your new home and excel in your new studies. For more information on studying an IELTS course in Manchester, get in touch via the contact us page or call 0161 233 4290.