Top 13 Challenges Of Studying Abroad

Challenges Of Studying Abroad – Are you planning on studying abroad? Well, everyone at some point always long for getting the opportunity to study outside their hometown like study abroad. Studying abroad comes with a lot of benefits and sometimes, international students end up wanting to stay back in the country they studied in.

It quite interesting if you wish to study abroad but you should also know that there are some challenges of studying abroad. In as much as you get to enjoy  better education, better experience, flexibility to study and work and many others, you will still some challenges you will face studying abroad.

You are leaving your country or hometown and going to an entirely different country that you might not have been to before; the question on your mind would be “how would I cope in this new environment?”

Discussing these challenges of studying abroad is not to discourage you from studying abroad but to give you a heads up on what you may likely face studying abroad. But you should know that studying abroad is challenging and interesting.

For every challenge you would face studying abroad, there are also solution to these challenges and you will definitely want to run through to the solutions so as to get yourself prepare for everything that comes with studying abroad.

For whichever country you wish to study in, you will certainly face some challenges but the good thing is that these challenges make you a better student and a better person too.

If you are seeing this article, it means that you are actually planning on studying abroad and want to know the challenges you are likely to encounter. Well, we have written this article just for you, to answer all your questions and prepare you for studying abroad as this is what we do at Worldstudentforum.

In this article, we will be looking at the challenges of studying abroad and also showing you how you could overcome these challenges.

Without further ado, let’s proceed to what we have for you

13 challenges of studying abroad

  • Finding where to stay

The challenge here is not actually finding where to stay but finding the right place to stay. Your accommodation is one important part of studying abroad that you should look into. It is even one of the factors to consider in choosing the best school to study in. This could be a really big issue for international students as they are not really used to the environment and finding the right accommodation can become a worrying issue for them.

How do you overcome this?

Well this shouldn’t worry you too much as we are going to look at the solution to this.

If you miss out on the campus accommodation, you will have to start scouting for accommodation. You could do this before you actually arrive in the college you want to study. Getting your accommodation will actually prepare you both mentally and physically. The introduction of the digital world has made it easier for international students to find accommodation even before arriving into the country they want to study in but there are also many unreliable Facebook groups that would collect your money and you end up not getting any place to stay when you arrive.

You can try looking for trustworthy and reliable agents that could help you secure an accommodation. There are many online accommodation platforms that help students in getting accommodation.

Also, some colleges or universities try to make out accommodation for international students coming to study.

  • Difficulty in managing finance

This is actually one problem students face in general and when studying abroad, you will surely encounter situations where you run low on cash. There are sometimes a lot of differences in the cost of things in the country you are studying and back home. Even if you plan ahead or budget, you will certainly run out of cash at some point and this is a worrisome issue that international students face.

Sometimes, when studying abroad you might find it really difficult to manage your expenses and this issue can be make you feel alone and stressed out.

How do you overcome this?

There are a few ways you can actually manage your finances and cut down on your expenses. It Is not going to be easy but you will have to do it to make sure you have cash that will sustain you till maybe your next allowance comes. Let’s look at some of the ways you can actually overcome the problem of low cash…

  • Create a budget (daily, weekly and monthly) and make sure you stick to the budget
  • Do not engage in impulse spending.
  • Always find a way to save money
  • Don’t spend money on luxury but necessities
  • If the college allows you to study and work, get a part-time job
  • Do not eat out instead, cook your own meals
  • You could also apply for scholarship as there are a lot of scholarship opportunities for international students.
  • Feeling alone and depressed

Sometimes, you are miles away from home, it is normal to feel lonely and depressed. You are all alone in a country you have probably never being to; no family and friends, just new people and new ways of living. Everything will look strange to you and you might start getting tired of the environment because it is not what you are used to. Even the academic activities can be different from what you are used to and this can also be frustrating and depressing.

How do you overcome this?

In fighting depression, you will have to work on your psychological state of mind. You have to prepare your mind and get used to the fact that you are leaving home away from family and friends.

You will have to understand that this is a new place that is going to be different from your country or hometown and be ready to embrace everything that comes with studying in the country.

Make friends and engage in some interesting activities to keep your mind woke.

  • Difference in language

This is a major challenge of studying abroad and every international student faces this challenge. The language in the country you want to study might be different from what is being spoken in your country or hometown. The communication barrier could be a worrisome issue for you, imagine schooling in the U.K and greeting an English man in French, you will certainly be snubbed because he or she won’t understand the language you have spoken.

How do you overcome this?

You shouldn’t fret. You should start preparing yourself to embrace and learn the language of the country you want to study in or you are studying in. this is one step to adapting to the environment. It will even make your stay in the country interesting and make it easy for you to blend in and make friends.

When you are communicating with the natives of the country you are studying in, you can tell them to teach you some of the basic words in the language of the country and they are always ready and willing to help you. For every word they pronounce, you can tell them to pronounce it again.

There are also many online tools that can help you learn the languages of some countries and also translate them too. So you can also use this.

  • Feeling homesick

Leaving your home will certainly fill you with nostalgia when you remember home. You start to feel this long yearning for home as you miss your family and friends. The change in language, culture, food and environment can make you to start missing home and want to go back. It is normal to feel homesick when you are studying abroad but you shouldn’t get depressed or feel alone.

How do you overcome this?

Homesickness will come at some point while you are studying abroad but in fighting this, you will have to work on making new friends and also start engaging in activities that will keep you active and take your mind off thinking about home.

Try not to get bored as this boredom brings back memories of home, so you will have to engage in activities that will help you learn more about the country you are studying in.

You can also seek advice from counselors to see how you can overcome the feeling of being homesick.

  • Lack of motivation to attend classes or study

The compounding challenges of studying abroad could make you start losing interest and motivation to attend classes or study. This could be as a result of difference in learning or teaching style, different in classroom arrangement or total academic activities. All these could kill the enthusiasm you came with to study abroad.

Also, not being able to understand the language being spoken in the country could also make you start losing motivation to attend classes or even study and this could start affecting your grades.

How do you overcome this?

You will have to put in more efforts to learning the language of the country so that you don’t end up offering a course in a language you don’t know anything about. Learning the language prepares you for studying in that country.

You should also try to balance your activities and also create a schedule to help you balance all you have you do and also to study more. The reason you are studying abroad is to actually come out with good grades and be different from your friends that studied in your hometown so you will have to make studying a priority for you.

Try to improve your time management ability and organize yourself properly so you don’t get stressed out.

  • Cultural differences

Alongside the language barrier, you will also be faced with cultural differences. The way things are done back home will certainly be different from how it is done when you are studying abroad. The way of greeting, the dressing, food and also events, all these things can become frustrating if you don’t manage them well.

Sometimes, it might be difficult to integrate into the culture especially when you are staying with a roommate that is a native of the country. The way your roommate does things might feel strange and annoying to you and from here, you begin to feel left out or frustrated. Everyone around you dresses differently, speaks differently, greet differently and even the food is different from what you eat back home, you will definitely feel lonely and depressed.

How do you overcome this?
the first thing you should do to overcome the challenge of cultural differences is embrace and learning the culture of the country you are studying in. join them in what they are doing and practicing, this way you tend to blend in and also feel among. There is a popular saying that “if you can’t beat them, you join them”.

Don’t be scared of not speaking the language well, actually it is better you speak and be corrected than not speaking at all. It shows that you actually want to learn. Try getting the clothes that fit the dressing style of the place and also learn the greeting starting from Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening.

You can also use some online tools to help you learn faster and easier too. But mind you, you will have to be patience with yourself as learning the culture and getting used to the food might take some time but you will actually get used to it in the end.

  • Not feeling among

Its normal not to feel like you blend into the country besides, you are not from there and everything that happens there is going to be strange and new to you. You will feel like an outsider whether in class or any other gathering. Everywhere will look new to you and adapting might be difficult for you due to the new settings and way of life.

How do you overcome this?

Feeling like an outsider is normal for the first few weeks or months you get into the country depending in the type of person that you are but you can actually step up and start enjoying your stay in this place sooner by trying to relate with the natives of the country and learning their language and culture. Interacting and associating with the people of the place will make it easier for you to adapt and blend in. Mind you, in most countries; the natives love it when foreigners try to learn their culture and language.

With this, you will begin to feel safe and used to the country. You can also read about the country you want to study in before actually going so you will get to know the culture and language being spoken there and see how you can learn things about the place. This will make studying abroad easy for you.

  • Getting used to the climate

Imagine you going to study in Australia, you will certainly have to get prepare for the weather and climate in that region especially if you are not really used to cold weather and climate. So climate difference is really a worrisome issue for many international students. Many of them are thinking how they will cope with the weather and climate of the new country.

How do you overcome this?

You will have to get yourself prepare by getting the essential things to help you cope with the weather like clothes, shoes and other items. If you don’t have enough money to get clothes, try getting used clothes or shoes. The idea is to prepare for the weather or climate of the country you will be studying in.

  • Difference in currency

When you want to study abroad, you should know that the country you will be going to will be using a different currency from your country’s currency. Sometimes, the negative aspect is when you country’s currency has a low value when compared to that of the country you want to study in. this means that for you to get some things, you will have to spend more to match the equivalent of that country’s currency. Let take for instance, a Nigerian student that wants to study in the U.S, it will be quite expensive as the exchange rate of U.S dollar to the Nigerian Naira is really high. Here, $1 is equivalent to N430. This means that a Nigerian student will have to spend more. This currency difference can be frustrating and challenging too.

How do you overcome this?

You will have to understand the conversion rate of the country you want to study in and save up money with that conversion rate in mind. Don’t be extravagant and always stick to your budget. If it is not necessary, don’t buy it.

You will have to cut down on your expenses; understand your financial strength and live within the money that comes into your pocket. Try to relate with the local so that you can know the places to get cheaper product. You must understand that the two currencies are different whether your country’s own has more value or not. Just prepare yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed by the currency differences.

  • Difficulty in making friends

You can start making friends even in one day but for some others, it takes weeks to start getting used to the people around and start associating too. In studying abroad, making friends can be quite difficult as there is a communication barrier due to language and culture. You won’t be able to relate freely with people in the environment maybe because you are new to the environment and cannot speak the language too. Since everything is looking new and different from what you are used to, you may not easily associate with people not to talk of making friends.

How do you overcome this?

You will have to be accommodating and talk to people politely besides, you are far from home so you have to accommodate people for you to be able to make friends and adapt to the new country.

Put in effort to learn and understand the language and culture of the natives of the country, it will help you to associate with people and make friends easily too.

Try to join some societies, clubs or even football teams, this way you will be able to make friends easily, fight boredom and get used to the new place.

  • Worries about safety

When planning to study abroad, you will have to consider how safe the environment or country you want to study in is. Nobody would want to study in an environment that is not safe. You will have to be conscious of your environment when studying abroad because you are not yet used to the place and you might not even understand or speak the language in case you get into some kind of trouble.

How do you overcome this?

You will have to put in effort to learn the language of the country or community so that you can easily blend in and relate with the natives of the place. You will also have to note the safety rules and guidelines of the place you are staying so that you do not go against them and get yourself into trouble. This is more like the first thing you do. Try to know the dos and don’ts of the place you will be studying.

Try to understand your surrounding and be vigilant as this is a new country that may be quite different from your home. Always note the emergency numbers you can call in case you get into some kind of trouble.

  • Missing your favorite food

Sometimes, you might miss the way mom prepares your favorite food and this can lead to homesick or nostalgia. You start reminiscing on how it would be back home eating your favorite food with family and friends. Getting into the new country will definitely feel challenging as you might not be able to prepare that meal there or the ingredients to prepare the meal might not be available in the environment you stay. You might not even be eating well as you are trying to get accustomed to the type of food the people in the new country eat and the way they prepare it.

How do you overcome this?

Well, missing mom’s food is normal and nobody will be able to prepare it the way mom doesn’t but this doesn’t mean that you cannot prepare it. If you love the meal so much, you should try to learn how to prepare it and even see how you can improvise in case the ingredients to prepare the dish is not in the country or environment you will be studying.

Look for local restaurants where they prepare your local dish and eat there but mind you don’t do this all the time as you are also trying to cut down your expenses and manage your funds too.


In as much as studying abroad is very good and has a lot of advantages, there are still some challenges you will encounter studying abroad and so you have to be aware of these challenges and how to overcome them as it will prepare you for everything that comes with studying abroad as an international student.

From feeling homesick to missing your favorite dish, you will have to read through the solutions we gave you in this article so that you will know how to overcome the challenges you may face while studying abroad.

We wish you all the best in all your endeavors.

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