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Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus
Life > Experiences

Things I learned as an international student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Moving countries can be one of the most life-changing experiences, especially at such a young age as your 20s. While studying abroad has brought me a lot of independence, new friends, and a new lifestyle, it has also come with a lot of big lessons that are not always nice to learn. Here are the most important things I’ve learned as an international student:

  • Take self-care very seriously

Living alone will make you learn that you are the only one who is responsible for taking care of yourself. Self-care is not just doing face masks and watching a movie, but it is eating nutritious meals, getting a decent amount of sleep, and learning how to listen to your body and your mind to know what you need, and what will be good for you when you are having a stressful time. Sometimes, all you need is a nice hot shower, but self-care can also look like setting boundaries in the amount of time you spend on TikTok, doing homework, or laying in bed.

  • Build and maintain a strong support network

Moving away to a completely new country, and leaving your friends and family behind, makes you realize that it is important to build relationships in your new space that will help you support yourself and realize you are not alone, as far away from home as you may be. Prioritize friendships, and surround yourself with people who will be there for you for the most minor things, like having lunch together, to the deeper things, like listening to you when you are missing your pets. It is also important to realize that quality is way more important than quantity when it comes to friendships. On the other hand, don’t forget to nourish your relationships with your friends and family back home.

  • Stay focused

A lot of us international students move countries with a purpose; whether it is to go to a better college, or have better job opportunities, it is easy to forget what you came here for, and it is easy to get overwhelmed or fogged by all the emotional turmoil that comes from moving away. However, one of the biggest things that will get you through the international student struggle is to remember your goals. Be sure to remind yourself of all the reasons you moved, and constantly notice and be grateful for all the good things this experience brings you.

Junior pursuing a Marketing major and a Hospitality minor at FIU!