5 Ways International Students Adapt to Studying in a New Country

Studying abroad is exciting for so many reasons – you’re setting off on an educational journey by learning new things in a new country, with new cultures and new people.

But we know the initial adaptation can be slightly challenging. To help you with that, we asked the acting president of the International Students Club Rachel Rutendo Hamandishe to share her tips on how to adjust. Let’s go!

Study the Host Country’s Language and Culture

As international students, one of our main problems is being unfamiliar with the host country’s language and culture. We can’t express ourselves and this causes us to sometimes be misunderstood.

No one’s expecting you to immediately become a language master, but it’s best to learn some key phrases to make things easier. Locals appreciate the effort, and you become more cultured as well.

By the way, did you know that QIU’s got a Language School that teaches nearly all the languages you need to get around? That includes Malay, English, Mandarin, Tamil, German, Korean….you know what, just click here to find out.

Socialise More

Of course, people differ in their need for contacts with others, but even if you are an introvert, try not to withdraw into yourself too much. Try and make friends with people from other countries; it’s one of the bonuses of studying in an international environment.

In addition to making new friends and gaining new perspectives, they can help show you new things about your new home because they might have been here longer.

Visit Interesting Places

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travelling is still something that needs to be thought over carefully while taking the health authorities’ SOPs into consideration. But when things return to normal, travelling is definitely something you should consider.

Going on excursions is something that keeps most of us going. Travel in your free time on weekends and holidays. Malaysia has an abundance of beautiful places which you have to visit by all means.

Invite your course mates to travel with you – travelling together is cheaper and more fun (I’ve tried it ha-ha!).

Keep in Touch with Your Family

Try to maintain relationships with people at home while you are away by keeping in touch regularly. It’s inevitable that you’ll feel slightly homesick so this really helps.

We’ve got so much technology at our disposal so you really don’t have a reason to not keep connected. Whether it’s your family or friends, a video call or a simple text makes a huge difference.

It assures the people back home that you continue to care about them while also keeping you in touch with your roots.

Get Involved

Get involved with a student club on campus. Being part of a student club or society is a great way to escape the stresses of studying and lectures, they’re a getaway to meeting others who have the same interests and passion as you – potentially leading to lifelong relationships!

Not sure which club to join? There’s a whole list here for you to choose from – including our own International Students Club of course. Also, check out what the Student Affairs Division is getting up to, because they’re always planning some awesome activity!


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