I know exactly what it feels like to be an international student many thousands of miles from home. At first I found the whole experience intimidating and scary. But I soon settled into my new college life I worked extremely hard and studied well. I even made friends with many other students on campus and really enjoyed hanging around with them. During term time, I loved spending time abroad.
The holidays though were a completely different story. Most of my friends returned home to spend the holidays with their families. But because I was so far away from home I couldn’t go back for a few weeks at a time. It was just far too expensive. This meant that I was stuck in a foreign country, not knowing exactly what to do.
Asking your College or University
It’s actually worth asking your college or university whether or not they have anything planned for foreign students during the holidays. Quite often they will run day trips or holidays for students to various places. These are a great way to see more of the country and gain some new experiences. It should also be possible to meet some new friends and have a great time.
Another option is to meet local people. There will probably be some students in your university or college who do not board but instead travel from home every day. These students will stay in the area during the holidays and could be a real life line. It may even be possible to spend some of the holidays with them so that you can experience the customs and traditions first hand.
Although it may seem like you are alone and isolated you aren’t. Actually there will still be many other foreign students who are still at the university or college. These people will normally be just as bored as you and also looking for something to do. You could take control and actually start organizing activities for you all to do.
Even if your college doesn’t plan anything, there’s nothing stopping you arranging things yourself. This is actually something really beneficial and it can even be put on your CV to help you get a job when you graduate.
Getting a Job
Of course if you don’t mind missing out on the holidays and feel like working then you could even get a job. You will be allowed to work a limited number of hours on a student visa, so it’s worth checking exactly how long you are entitled to work. A job will keep you occupied until school starts again. It will also give you some extra money which can be used to pay for your living expenses or just to have some fun.
Just because you are a long way from home, you shouldn’t feel upset that you are by yourself for the holidays. You need to do something about it rather than sitting in your room by yourself. And anyway, you will always be able to call your parents up on the phone to have a chat if you miss them too much.
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