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Friday, August 25, 2017

10 Things I Learned while Studying Abroad


Last Day in School


1.Learning is Fun
I've never been a fan of school. I would be the last one to enter the classroom and the first one to leave when the bell ringed. However, studying abroad was interesting in some way. It was exciting and fun. I get to experienced new ways of learning and handling group projects again just like the old days. It's not just about your course program when you study abroad, you also learn to live on your own and get to know yourself better. Life takes a different roll outside your comfort zone. 


2.Meet new friends
This was the best part. I've got to meet different nationalities as my program interacts with other courses in our department. Friendships were made and nurtured at a short span of time. It's amazing how people connect with each other despite the language and cultural differences. I've found my Filipino circle of friends in my program, we always sticked together. I also meet a few interesting people: a sweet Indian girl and a funny Nepalese girl. We clicked in no time like we spoke the same language. 


3.Part-time Jobs
We were allowed to work on days when we don't have class. I got to earn some extra money to pay for my rent, food and things I needed in school. It was hard to balance work and study especially on examination days. Having plenty of group projects also made it more difficult to stay on track for work times. I jump from one job to another base on the season. I hate having no stable job, not enough savings and relying solely from one cheque to another. It was difficult knowing back then Iearned a lot and now I'm dealing with this kind of situation. Looking at the bright side It's part of the student life experience where you get to be flexible and be patient with your job.  


4.Missing Home
The most challenging thing was missing my family and friends. Seeing familiar faces put you at ease especially when you had a hard day. You'll missed home more than anything on days when you get sick. The comfort of having someone around is different when you're away. Loneliness creeps in and you tend to isolate yourself. I ran on those days, it was my defense mechanism for keeping myself sane. I tend to miss home when I'm hungry too, it's a nice feeling when there's food prepared the moment you arrived home.


5.Study and Travel
Another advantage of studying abroad is the chance to travel in the country. I signed up for field trips sponsored by my college. Explored nature parks, tried a new cuisine, went to the beach, saw some waterfalls and headed to themed parks. I try do a lot of activities when I'm not in school or at work. My school is situated in the Niagara Region of Canada which made it easier to travel to nearby cities like Toronto, London and even all the way to Montreal where everything is French at its own way. At the end of my term my partner and I will be checking out Quebec, Ottawa and visit Canada's wonderland which is famous for the world's tallest and largest roller coaster. 


6.Learn to save money
I've always been a thrifty kind of person but studying abroad is different unless you have your parent's financial support all the way. I supported myself so I get to harness my budget skills. Work means money. It has been my goal to save as much, in that way I'll be able to handle my bills after school. The money I earned was actually just enough because I worked part-time and the school only allows a certain amount of working hours per week. You'll find ways to earn some extra cash along the way. I'm also thankful for student discounts, it really helped me especially for transportation fees. 


7.Adapt to the new environment
People: I stayed in a urban area, the people are nicer here compared to the city. You need to observe, reflect and adjust to the people you meet. 

Culture: New country means new culture. You're the invader so you will need to blend in and respect how they do things in their land. 

Weather: This was another challenge for me, as it never snowed in Philippines. A tropical kind of person like me doesn't get burned under the sun but I realized my kryptonite was in the snow. 

Transportation: The bus timings in the province is longer. I haven't really experience the trains in the big cities but I guess it will be just like when was in Singapore. 


8.Balance Life
Study and Work is a hard job. Both are important in different aspects. Having some time off from both subjects means a balance kind of life. My friends and I went to malls, watched movie, exercise and visited some tourist attractions on those days. Sleep plays a significant role of invigorating your zen too. Pay those sleep debts when you get a chance and have a healthy diet. A sound mind and body contributes a lot to a healthy well being. Remember getting sick is not an option you're away from home. 


9.Self care
One thing students tend to forget is taking care of their emotional well being. Yes you're sleeping and eating right but we tend to forget how we're coping up. Being in a foreign land takes a lot of energy, aside from adjusting to the people, environment and the hectic schedule. Some students can't overcome the sadness of being away, gets overwhelmed and even gets numb from all the pressure of student life. I took care of my emotional status by talking to my families and friends on a daily basis. For my spiritual needs, I went to church and prayed. I learned to cook Filipino foods for my food cravings. Even mastered the art of grocery shopping where I purchased just what I needed. I read inspiring books too aside from my program in school. 


10.Achievement
Last but not the least. The pride of completing a course in a foreign land is ecstatic. A different kind of achievement that goes all the way to the top of your educational background. I take great joy in finishing my post graduate program. It took me hours of sleepless nights to passed my exams, worked hard for project deadlines and worked in a hotel and restaurant to pay my bills. It was a great learning experience. I see life in a different way now, I'm stronger as a person and wiser as an individual. 



2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed this! :)
    Very inspiring content!

    xx,
    Regine
    www.regineinthemiddle.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

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