The Importance of Cross-Cultural Communication

Source: Aishwarya Sadasivan, Study International

International students who study abroad in Canada, or in any foreign country, should be mindful of remaining respectful and unbiased when interacting with people that have backgrounds different from their own. Developing a sense of appreciation of other cultures allows students to better cope with culture shock and view the world from alternative perspectives. Overseas students who actively try to improve their communication skills are also said to be able to better understand and express themselves to others.

Culturally Diverse Campus Tours

Canada Campus Visits allows prospective international students the chance to better their cross-cultural communication skills through our campus tours. Students from around the world take part in our tours and over the course of 10 days together have the chance to experience a new country, share stories and build lasting friendships with one another.

How to Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship While You Study Abroad

Source: Study International

Studying in a foreign country can be one the the greatest adventures you ever experience. If you’re in a relationship with someone you care deeply about though, the journey may not be an easy one if you’re going alone. Long-distance relationships are often believed to be stressful for all parties involved but they aren’t impossible to manage. Here are a few keys to surviving your study abroad experience with your relationship intact.

While it’s hard leaving those that you care about, you might feel worse if you skipped your trip abroad entirely. International experience can change your life and missing an opportunity of such magnitude would be unfortunate.

Patience and communication are key. Social media makes it possible to stay in touch with people back home but issues like time zones and Wi-Fi connectivity can get in the way. You have to be patient and understand that even when your schedules do align, things may not always go according to plan.

When you get the time to talk, don’t hold back what you’re feeling. If school is difficult or you’re having a hard time adjusting to your new environment, share that. Be prepared to listen to their feelings as well. You’ll both have good days and bad days and being with each other throughout each is important.

Over-sharing can be an issue if you aren’t careful. Saying “good morning” and “good night” is one thing but continuously clutching your mobile device in an attempt to stay in touch can come off as clingy. Remember that you’re on an international adventure and your significant other most likely wants you to experience it to the fullest.

While seemingly daunting, long-distance relationships can improve communication skills and teach independence. As long as you both aren’t afraid to put in the required effort to make it work, a long-distance relationship is another test you can pass while you study abroad.

Ways To Be A Social Butterfly While Studying Abroad

Source: Study International

Regardless of their age, students always want to have friends to rely on at school. This can be even more important for international students than most because they may need people in their life who can help them maneuver through a new country and culture. One article suggests these steps to making friends while you study abroad:

  • Don’t place too much pressure on yourself
  • Meet as many people as you can
  • Do what you like doing
  • Don’t be afraid of trying new things
  • Embrace and enjoy the experience

Do you have any suggestions that you think should make this list? Let us know in the comments so we can help everyone choosing to study in Canada come out of their shell and feel comfortable as soon as they arrive.

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Making Friends Abroad: What you need to know before you go

Originally from Canadian Bureau for International Education Student Blog

The contents of this post detail one very introverted and very awkward individual’s experience making friends abroad during her year abroad.

Going abroad is kind of like going through your freshman year of college all over again; everyone is new, everyone is nervous and awkward, and everyone is desperate to find their group of friends – and fast. Sparked by a fear of being left out, you could find yourself halfway through your semester abroad, looking at the (very nice) individuals you hang out with every weekend, and thinking to yourself,

“I don’t have anything in common with these people.”

Maybe this post will help you avoid that. Or maybe you’ll end up in that situation anyway.

It’s easy to be lonely
Going abroad can be a daunting experience because loneliness is a more apparent option than ever. It’s at times like this when you think to yourself how much easier life would be if you were an extrovert – always the first to click “going” to a expat meetup event on Facebook, always the first to introduce yourself first to the person sitting next to you in class, always the first to follow someone you met “that one time at that one place” on Instagram. If you are like that, then making friends abroad should be as easy on your year abroad as it is anywhere else. But if you aren’t, things get a little more complicated.

Trial and error
You’re going to have to go through a lot more “trial and error” in finding the people who you feel compatible with: pushing yourself to go to events that you don’t want to go to, and introducing yourself to people who you have little interest in. In short, you’re going to have to make an effort that you normally wouldn’t have to make back home. It can be tiring, annoying, and a pain. At one point, you’ll probably find yourself fully dressed and ready to head out the door, but thinking to yourself that watching Friends in your sweats would make for such a better night.

Perseverance is key
But, if you want my honest opinion, the awkward moments when you’re really not clicking with the person you’re talking to, the times when the event you were looking forward to ended up being a bust, the situations when the person sitting next to you seems to have little interest in whatever you’re trying to say… they’re worth it.

People need other people, and your time abroad isn’t an exception to that rule. When you’re studying in a different country (likely in a culture that you didn’t grow up in, constantly surrounded by a language you might not be able to speak), being able to share the stupid embarrassing stories – where you accidentally offended the waiter or tripped face-first walking down the street – is everything.

For some people it’s easy to meet new people. For others, not so much. No matter who you are, it’s necessary and important.

Yeji Lee, University of Toronto, Sciences Po