You might have mixed feelings about the idea of studying overseas. You feel excited because you will meet other people and study with international students. At the same time, you worry that you will have a hard time integrating into the new community. You will feel like you do not belong, and people will ignore you. Before you make your final decision, these are some myths regarding student exchanges and the truth you need to know.
Myth # 1- People will discriminate against you
It is okay if you feel like the people in your new community will discriminate against you or have a stereotype of you based on where you come from. When you reach a new country, you will realise that your expectations are incorrect. Most schools and universities accepting foreign students are very welcoming. They get used to the idea. It is easy for them to accept you because you are probably not the first international student in their community. Do not feel boxed because of the potential stereotype. Even if it happens, you can shrug it off and prove to everyone you are more than what they have in mind.
Myth # 2- You need to intensify your efforts in academics
Yes, it is true that you need to work hard because you are following a different curriculum and you are learning with different people. You are also new to the learning environment. Even if you are in this situation, it does not mean you cannot have fun. You are in this programme because you want to develop yourself in various aspects. Set time to work, play and discover the place. If you are heading to the UK, you have a lot to explore. Do not deprive yourself of the opportunity to have the best time of your life.
Myth # 3- You can finally buy whatever you want
Back home, you might have a limited budget per week. You need to find a way to spend wisely or else you will have nothing left. The same thing happens when you are abroad. You might receive an allowance from your parents and the exchange programme, but you will still have a difficult time budgeting your money. It is part of the learning experience, and it is okay. Avoid going out with people who could not care less about how they spend their money. Some programmes last for a year. You do not want to keep asking for money from your parents each time you run out of it.
Myth # 4- You can do whatever you want
You are far from your parents, so you think that you can drink as much as you want. You are also thinking of having endless parties. Although there is nothing wrong in socialising, it is not the primary goal. You can socialise and meet new people without going wild. Besides, you will most likely stay with a host family. It is disrespectful if you keep doing whatever you want since your family entrusted you to them. Follow their rules and politely ask for permission when you are heading out. You can check out HFS London for this programme if you are yet to find a host family.
Now that you understand the reality of an exchange programme, you will have clear expectations before your departure.