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From long time ago, people having pursuing the acquisition of education. Right from a tender age, most children are taken to schools where they start by acquiring basic knowledge. As the children grow older, the complexity of what their taught increases. An increase in the complexity of the content taught, more often than not, necessitates a change of schools. Some students change from their old learning institution and move to a new one located either nearby or within the same country. However, there are students who move to new learning institutions located outside their native countries in pursuit of advanced quality education. Sometimes a move to seek education outside one’s native country might prove to be challenging.
Students who study in foreign countries are referred to as international students. The experience of moving to a new country is sometimes very challenging to new students. This is because new students are exposed to various changes in lifestyle and operation of their new school systems. The students are forced interact with students from different cultures and races. The process of adapting to new environments by international students becomes more difficult when they move into schools where majority of students are from the same country or region. The question that arises from the experience of students moving into new countries is whether fellow students have a negative attitude towards them.
Different international students handle their change of country differently. There ease to adapt to their new institutions in the foreign countries will be dependent on the attitude that international students have towards the change into their new environment and not so much about the attitude that their fellow students have about them. In most cases, the students living in the country they have moved to don’t harbor any bad motive against the
However, the most important aspect that determines the ease in which an international student will fit into the system of a new school and country in general is determined by the attitude of the individual student himself/herself. I am an international university student from Hong Kong China currently studying in a Canadian University. The experience I had in adapting to the new university was full of mixed feelings. At the beginning of my stay, the experience was a bit challenging. I have, however, fully adapted into the university system. The experience of leaving my own native country to move to a new one has taught me a few lessons about living and socializing with different kinds people especially when in a foreign country.
When I arrived in Canada, I realized that the people the people living with the country had a very different kind of lifestyle from those living in China. The differences were in the form of so many aspects. The first thing I noticed was that people living in Canada had a different sense of fashion than the one I was used to in Canada. As I walked around, I felt so different and insecure about myself. It seemed like everyone was looking at me, scrutinizing what I was wearing, how I looked and behaved. At the back of my mind, I thought everyone was gossiping about me. However, I realized they were not gossiping about me. In fact, most people hardly noticed me. The uncomfortable feeling was just because of my fears and insecurities (Blaine, 2007).
Another challenge that most international students face when in a learning institution, in a foreign country, is that they get the feeling that some of their fellow students, mostly those from the foreign country they have moved into, look down upon them or to some extent bully them. While this might be the case in some few instances, the situation is never that bad. I, for example, had a feeling that some of the female students in my class, as well as others in my hostel had some form of resentment towards me. I always felt so intimidated and uncomfortable when they were around me. However, as time went by, various situations rose that forced me to overcome my inferiority complex and interact with fellow students whom I initially thought intended to bully me. Contrary to my previous belief, I realized that they were good people. Some even ended up being my friends. This experience taught me to try and know people more before judging them.
During my first days in the university, I did not have friends. I also felt shy about the thought of approaching my fellow students in an effort of making friends. I often found myself looking for fellow Chinese students. I always felt better and more secure when I was in the company of fellow Chinese people. With time, however, I managed to make friends with other students from both Canada and from other countries. This experience taught me that a bit of confidence am important in facilitating socializing. I realized that, in most cases, fellow students have nothing against other students from foreign countries. It just takes an individual to initiate an effort directed towards making friends with other fellow students.
I have generally come to realize that being an international student is an exciting experience. The factor that determines how hard or easy it will be to adjust to the new experience of being a student in a new country is the attitude that an individual has. Individuals who carry a negative attitude about their new experience of being in a new environment will always have a difficult time adjusting. However, those individuals who are confident harbor a positive attitude and who make an effort interact with fellow students will always have an easy time adjusting to their new institutions. In most cases, they end up enjoying their stay and interaction with other fellow students since most of their colleagues have nothing bad against them (Smith & Bond, 2006).