Studying Abroad: Expectations Vs. Reality

5 minute read
Studying Abroad Expectations Vs. Reality

Those who plan to study abroad sure carry a range of expectations about the foreign environment they are moving to, with hopes regarding their social life blooming, and an onset of a thematic adventure waiting to happen. But how often do our expectations lead to reality? Not that often, right? The same is the case with studying abroad, where we put expectations vs. reality, for even though it is a new chapter in our lives, it doesn’t necessarily come with happy-go-lucky experiences. It’s not all stars and moons, shining bright in the sky, all the time. It’s as simple as the fact that the reality of studying abroad is far from what you’d expect. Not to be a party pooper, but in today’s blog, let’s go through a list of expectations vs reality, in terms of studying abroad. It shall prepare you for what’s most likely to happen and come true in your future of moving to another country. 

Studying Abroad Expectations Vs. Reality: Academics 

Attending classes regularly won’t matter. Studies need hard work and consistency.

Academics is one of the major facets when it comes to studying abroad expectations vs. reality. Though the way schools and universities work in two different places varies, and it might also be true that schools in some foreign countries might not be as demanding as your home country’s, it doesn’t mean that studying abroad is going to be a piece of cake. In the famous words of Reese Witherspoon, in Legally Blonde, “What, like it’s hard?”. Um, yes, it most probably is, in fact. So, don’t go thinking that you don’t have to put effort into your academics, for if you have a goal, working towards it demands regular attention and consistency. 

Studying Abroad Expectations Vs. Reality: Social Life 

I’m going to be friends with international students immediately. You are most likely to be friends with people of the same geographical ground. 

Next is social life under the category of studying abroad expectations vs. reality. 

To dream of having a multicultural friend group is only common, for as an international student, it’s normal to expect to befriend a number of different international students. But that doesn’t entirely translate to reality. Rather, at first, you are most likely to experience culture shock and differences at the behest of meeting new people. Especially if it’s your first time far away from home, it makes more sense for you to seek comfort, not immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments. That’s the most prevalent go-to route for many. It is scary to be alone in a foreign country, and expecting yourself to be social from the very first instant is only going to make things worse. So, give yourself time and let time tell. 

I will go on regular adventures, attend parties, explore destinations, go sightseeing, and more!You will be occupied with school work and doing laundry to get to everyday escapades. 

Studying abroad expectations vs reality doesn’t stop at the aforementioned point. Here, the reality is that when you are going to study abroad, and amidst the processes of accommodating yourself, figuring out the laundry and cooking, will hardly allow you to make time for everyday social activities. Don’t expect too much. There’s still time for you to explore the new country, your own self, and the people around you. It just won’t happen at the speed and velocity you expect it to. So prioritize. And most importantly, make sure to take care of yourself. 

I will meet the love of my life in a foreign land with a different ethnicity. You *might* meet someone you fall in love with, most likely of your own ethnicity. 

Who doesn’t dream of the person in shining armour, revealing themselves to be our soulmates, in a foreign land, no less? Expecting that won’t be a false assumption, but it sure is a hopeful one. You will never exactly know who you end up falling in love with, and based on people’s experiences, especially those who go to study abroad, they start to look for a person who has the same values and cultural thinking. That happens to be from someone of your ethnicity, abroad. But that’s definitely not always the case. So while this expectation is not entirely false, it’s still not something to be depended on, encouraged and expected from the start. 

Studying Abroad Expectations Vs. Reality: Health 

My body won’t witness health changes like others’ do. Fluctuating weight shall be the most expected occurrence with you abroad. 

Last but not least in the series of studying abroad expectations vs. reality is the dawning truth of our health. 

Travelling abroad and settling there to study means the slow accumulation of stress. And stress leads to weight gain. Not only that, the different types of cuisines with different ingredients have an unknown effect on your body, exposing you to varied body changes. Additionally, environmental factors play a major role in how your body reacts, so a change in health changes is to be expected. Do not think that just because you walk so much through your commute, your weight gain will be compensated after eating that Italian cuisine, along with waffles and ice cream as a cherry on top. Remember, you will be travelling and trying out beverages and food of the new culture is what makes exploring interesting, so while it’s inevitable, there are also several ways to manage your weight. Read our blog on how to lose weight while studying abroad! 


How does studying abroad change your perspective?

Studying abroad changes your perspective on the world in the sense that it allows you to become independent of your parents, and family, making you develop your own ideals and standards. 

What could be some difficult aspects of studying abroad?

High expectations, homesickness, and health concerns are some of the difficult aspects of studying abroad. 

What is the hardest thing about studying abroad?

Feeling like an outsider, or an outcast is one of the hardest things about studying abroad. 

That’s what you get under studying abroad: expectations vs reality! Stay connected with wings by Leverage Edu for more such interesting articles. On seeking guidance on studying abroad, you can always consult Leverage Edu specialists at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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