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Getting Into The Flow

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

How the International Student Community Helps Indian Students Adjust in the New Environment

By Grishma Nanavaty, Partner & Lead Counselor, ReachIvy.com

Getting acclimatized in a new school, in foreign surroundings can be daunting for any student. Indians going abroad for higher studies often feel intimidated by the foreign culture, and the differences in habits, languages, and living experience.

Advantages of an International Student Community
There are many advantages to connecting with the international student community. They help you adjust to your new surroundings in a number of ways. Here’s how:

Coming from India, you share the same cultural platform. The Indians at the international student community understand your cultural sensibilities, and help you ease into the study program without too much of ‘culture shock.’

As an Indian studying abroad, you will need a support system for everyday needs. Right from your food choices, groceries, restaurants, and clothes of your native home, the international community help you locate your daily necessities.

Language and accent could be the biggest roadblock for a newcomer. The international student community can help you with the communication bottleneck. They can help you find the right courses or people who can assist you with the language. Also, if you choose to learn a foreign language, the international community can help you navigate through the channels.

Indians abroad often feel homesick, when they miss their favorite activities or festivities. International student bodies organize various events, activities and group sessions so that you can hook up with Indian cultural and recreational groups; whether it a cricket fan club, or a classical dance recital.

Here are some ways you can connect with the international student community:
Facebook Groups

Facebook helps you leverage student interaction. Most students can make friends even before they go abroad. They can hang out with other students on Facebook groups, where other Indian students can help students understand the nuances of university life.

Student Social Networks
Some colleges offer you study abroad services, clubbed with a student social network. You can use online forums to connect with a lot of Indian students abroad.

Most global universities offer sports and student clubs of all kinds that students can participate in. Before arriving on campus, international students should explore student activities via the school's website and reach out to appropriate student organization officers for more information.

Help is a Call Away
Student groups have a support team that is designed to offer various kinds of assistance to international students. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to approach them. You could also request for contacts of the alumni made up of former Indian students. The alumni is your best source of authentic and first-hand, tried and tested data source. You can learn important information that you usually won’t find in guides or brochures.

Student Advisory Board
Many advisory boards have been set up on campus to help both international and domestic student members from the undergraduate and graduate programs.  These boards aim to help students develop a sense of belonging, facilitate collaboration between the various nationality groups on campus, and increase communication between the administration and the international student body.

Cross Culture Club
Groups such as the Cross Culture Club sponsor English Language classes and activities to enable domestic and international students meet and learn from each other. The objective is to cross cultural boundaries by providing points of interaction between local and international students.

Colleges abroad ensure incoming students interact, communicate and maximize the classroom and campus experience.  Not only do they start the term with activities to help students adjust to the new environment and classmates, but they also provide numerous platforms that students can take advantage of.

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