Studying abroad is a popular choice for students, but it comes with its own set of risks. However, these risks are not exclusive to foreign countries and can occur anywhere. It is crucial to be aware of these risks and take necessary precautions, regardless of where you study.
In this blog post, we will explore five common risks associated with studying abroad and provide practical advice on how to handle them.
- Crime: Crime exists everywhere, and studying abroad does not necessarily increase your vulnerability. To avoid becoming a victim of petty crimes like pickpocketing, follow simple precautions: keep valuable items secure, avoid displaying wealth in public, and be cautious in unfamiliar areas. Seek advice from local students about safe places and consider using reputable transportation options, especially at night.
- Terrorism: Though terrorism is a concern globally, the likelihood of being involved in an attack is quite low. Do not let fear and paranoia prevent you from enjoying your time abroad. Stay vigilant, but remember that giving in to fear only empowers terrorists. Continue exploring your new environment responsibly and confidently.
- Discrimination: Moving to a new country may expose you to different societal norms and attitudes. Discrimination based on various factors such as race, religion, or political views can be challenging to deal with. Instead of engaging in confrontations, it’s often better to walk away from such situations. Seek connections with international students who share similar backgrounds and perspectives to find a supportive community.
- Disease: Concerns about health and medical care are common when studying abroad. While outbreaks like Zika or Bird Flu make headlines, they are relatively rare. Ensure you have adequate health insurance, as some countries require it for student visas. Research the local healthcare system, and if necessary, invest in additional coverage for emergency situations. Remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle and practice responsible behavior, similar to what you would do at home.
- Mental Illness and Depression: Moving away from familiar support networks can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Be mindful of your mental well-being and recognize the signs of depression. Don’t hesitate to seek help or talk to loved ones back home if you feel overwhelmed. Engage in social activities and join local clubs or societies to meet new people and build a support system.
Studying abroad is a transformative experience that comes with both rewards and risks. By understanding and preparing for these risks, you can make the most of your time in a foreign country.
Remember that being cautious and proactive is essential, regardless of whether you’re studying three miles from home or on the other side of the world. Embrace the journey with an open mind and a willingness to learn, and you’ll find that studying abroad can be a life-enriching adventure.