If you’re considering studying abroad in the next year or so, you probably have many questions around what it is like on campus at the moment. How do you apply? What are lectures like? How do you make friends?
Well, we bought together a few international students, some of whom are studying from home and some who are staying on campus in the UK, US and Canada, to answer some of these questions. They cover many topics, including making friends, the application process, how to choose the right university for you and how to handle homesickness.
All the students said that although the visa process looks scary, it isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Their main tips were to keep on top of the process by creating a list or spreadsheet of key dates, doing your research, and keeping in contact with the relevant embassy or your university’s international office to ensure you are aware of any changes in the process. And also to print out all the emails from your university as it will be useful to have them close to hand during your application process.
In terms of making friends it seems as though a proactive approach is best. Bianca Roman, who is studying at Florida International University, stated that she tries to keep her camera on in lectures and actively participates in class. She also says she privately messages other students who also have their camera on, commenting on things she sees in their background, such as their pets – that’s how she met one of her closest friends.
Yasmin Abdul Razak, who is studying at the University of Pennsylvania, said she connected with fellow students through official university groups on Facebook and Instagram.
And Yeyo Nartey, from the University of Ottawa, said that she made the effort to attend virtual events to ensure she felt connected to her peers.
Each student also provided their one key tip for studying abroad, which you can view along with all their other thoughts on being an international student in the video below:
In this video, five international students share their top tips for university applications, connecting with friends virtually and managing homesickness during the pandemic