It’s indeed a big decision to study abroad. It’s the very time when most students do not know how to earn and manage routine expenses. They depend on their parents in India. So, it’s a turning point to shift to a foreign country where there is less chance of having your caretaker around who looks after everything for you.
Common Challenges for Studying Abroad
Here are some common challenges that students face abroad.
♦ Managing the Heavy Cost of Immigration
Life becomes a nightmare where you have to consistently focus on learning a foreign language. The commonest of all is English, which requires you to clear IELTS exam before. It is not inexpensive, which will be an addition to your foreign university application fee, courier costs, reporting fee, visa interview fee, flight costs, and more.
♦ Delays in Transcription
Students require transcription of their academic records for admission abroad. The college principal provides a consolidated marksheet of three or four years (of a degree course) with his/her signature and stamp on it. Oftentimes, they face rejections or delays because of invalid documents in support. At that time, they require NRI agents for transcription help. It is the most feasible option to get it quicker.
♦ Be Ready for Chores
Since your parents or guardian won’t necessarily be around, you have to manage your chores on your own. You have to cook, clean your house, and toilet, and mop the floor of your apartment. These all chores will run in parallel with your studies. Maybe, you have to search for a part-time at off campus. It can be a 5 to 7 hours long job. So, you have to mentally prepare yourself for it.
♦ Cultural Shock
Most foreign countries differ in culture if you compare them with India. Mostly, people prefer loud music, a night out with friends, and talking on the phone till late at night. Students feel like being trapped in a shared apartment. Sometimes, they don’t get time to finish their assignments or prepare for exams. This can never allow you to have peace of mind.
♦ Conveyance is a Must-Have
There is hardly any place that can be found next to your apartment there. So, you have to walk on your foot. For this, you have to spend the most time on walking here and there to arrange groceries or other things. Moreover, if you have a part-time job off-campus, it can be a shift of 12 to 16 hours every day. You would hardly get sufficient time to study. With a car, you can minimise traveling time. But, it’s again an expensive deal.
♦ Getting TA or RA Jobs
TA and RA stand for teaching assistant and research assistant respectively. These are highly competitive job roles. There are many international students who fight this battle as you do because it waives off tuition fees and also gets some money in your pocket. In the US, you get $15 per hour or as per class size, which is good. But, getting this role is no less than a tug of war.
♦ Feel Homesick
Unlike India, foreign countries are not the land of festivals. Nor do they have a sassy and lavished wedding, which is a big reason for missing such pomp and show with so much fun. You often live those moments while being on Facebook, Instagram, or FaceTime. If you want to come down here, the ticket would cost $1000 to $1200. So, most students give up on this idea. It makes you feel
♦ Getting Paid Internship
The free internship is available easily. When it comes to paid internships, international students struggle a lot. Be ready to apply for at least a thousand of jobs. Unfortunately, only 2-3 companies will call for interviews.
♦ Optical Practical Training
Those who go abroad for higher studies or do a Master’s, getting sponsorship for an H1B visa is difficult. Many indigenous companies avoid hiring international students who have Optical Practical Training status. This can overburden you with the interest on a loan, which you find difficult to pay back.
♦ Inability to Pay Complete Fees
A few cases are seen wherein students cannot pay the complete fee for the university. To pay it out, they work trivial jobs day and night in a gas station or motel. They have to spend 14-16 hours there to have money. While doing so, they often compromise their health.
♦ Skill Development
Once you are a grad, it’s necessary to get a job, which is a hard nut to crack. It’s so because most foreign countries are advanced in terms of technology. The companies there demand digital or technical skills. So, you have to spend some money on yourself, get skilled, and then only, you will become able to get a job. If you talk about education loans, it requires an 11%-14% interest rate to pay. This high-interest rate makes it an unbearable burden.
♦ Unfavourable Visa Rules
The visa rules are subject to revision. If you consider the case of Indians, there are hundreds of green card applications in the backlog. This is a serious issue for H1 B visa seekers. So, all who are doing their Masters and want to seek this visa, do consider visa policies if they are favourable. Otherwise, it would be a hell-like situation.
There are some common challenges that students face while studying abroad. Some unfavourable visa policies and revisions, difficulty in getting competitive job roles and paid internships, no peace of mind, scarcity of money, and skill development together with the study are difficult to manage.