Students' time abroad can be exciting, rewarding and unforgettable. While friends and family can prepare you for your journey, once there, the experience belongs to you.
I strongly encourage you to do your homework on British culture to avoid what is called culture shock, a term which is used to describe the anxiety and feelings of surprise, disorientation, confusion, etc.
First when students arrive their new home, they are fascinated with everything that is new however following the initial excitement, feelings such as frustration, anger, anxiety are possible. Sleeping and eating patterns may be disrupted. Sometimes individuals react to this frustration by rejecting the new environment in which they feel discomfort. It is quiet likely that students blame the external environment for the bad internal feelings. It is very important to take responsibility at that point and it’s time for a change; it’s time to be true to our greatest self; it’s time to stop blaming others.
It is important to except the fact that you might experience problems with your lessons, teachers, new friends, your landlord, the family you live with, the food, transport system or the weather!
Trying to control these possible problems will only keep you more attached to them so it is best to look at these as opportunities and try to see the humour in them. If you catch yourself in thoughts that postpone happiness, begin focusing on the blessings in your life right now. Appreciate life as it happens and you will enjoy the process of living.
When you manage to have a relaxed attitude and begin to laugh at minor mistakes, you will be able to manage the complexity of the new environment, understand the work, and experience successes. What happens to you in life is far less important than how you deal with it. Your relaxed attitude will give you power. So spend less energy on trying to control everything around you, and focus more on who you are, and most importantly who you are becoming.
My wish for all students as being one years ago is for them to feel at home and live successfully in two cultures after these initial stages and enjoy the moment.