6 Common Mistakes Foreign and International Students Make

Nov 23, 2018 by

In a report published in 2009, UNESCO predicted that the number of foreign students worldwide may reach approximately7 million by the year 2020. So far, this prediction has held up, and more and more people are opting to study abroad as incomes rise in newly-industrialized nations and the developing world.

With so many foreign students trying to get a slot in the world’s top universities, it’s inevitable to a few issues have come up. Here are 6 mistakes many international students make that can jeopardize their education.

1.) Presenting a generic application

Admissions officers these days are getting more and more selective about who can make it into their programs. While academic excellence is a given, these days there is a growing emphasis on admitting students with a story or a unique passion. High achievers with generic stories and no unique specializations are now often at a disadvantage when pitted against other students with decent grades but no interesting background or passions to speak of.

2.) Not having a passion for their chosen field

 It’s no secret that economics is often the ultimate driver for foreign students studying in colleges and universities abroad. However, if the program you entered isn’t necessarily your calling, and if you have no intention of actually using the knowledge and skills you earned, you may waste thousands of dollars and months if not years of your time and effort as well.

This also goes back to the first point – admissions officers these days are looking for students who display a real passion for their chosen discipline. They may even look for signs of it in your choice of extracurricular activities or achievements in the area before they decide to admit you into a program.

3.)  Not studying enough

For the vast majority of people, college is the first time they have any significant degree of freedom, and this is especially true for those studying abroad. This can lead to regrettable lapses in keeping up with studies and possibly jeopardize one’s scholarships or status in a program.

4.)  Not traveling

Not all your education will be within the four walls of the classroom – or your dorm room as you try to catch up on coursework. You may not even have a chance to visit your host country after you graduate, so it’s important that you take the unique opportunity presented to you to travel whenever you can. Chances are that you won’t ever regret doing so.

5.) Not taking care of their health

If you’re like most foreign students, you’re probably still young and blessed with a healthy constitution. Unfortunately, chances are you will get sick at some point, and there’s a very real risk you may need medical attention for one reason or another during an extended stay. Be sure to get international health insurance from a company that caters to international students and travelers.  These companies end to have lower rates and wider coverage for travelers, international students, and expats making them a better choice than bigger insurance companies.

6.)  Using slow and expensive money-transfer methods

Money transfer through multiple banks can be slow and extremely expensive over time. You also don’t want to be in arrears to your school just because your bank took forever to process a transfer. A better option may be any of a number of person-to-person and alternative money transfer services. Popular services like Xoom, Western Union, and Money Gram will help you get money across continents faster and cheaper than traditional international bank transfers.

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    Govind Dheda

    Your post is great!

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