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Írta: Káplár Mátyás

As travelling become easier and much cheaper and the possibility to live in foreign countries was realized, more and more students choose to study abroad. There are also several opportunities to work and live in another country. This can be one of the greatest adventure of your life, but can be miserable sometimes when you feel helpless, confused or lonely. In this article I collected the 5 most common challenges of staying in a foreign country.

1. Cultural shock 
Although in the European union the general values and lifestyle are more or less similar in the different countries you will still experience difficulties if you are not familiar with the traditions  of the given place. Starting from communication styles (Germany vs. Italy) through public behavior expectations (the meaning of “5 minutes” in Italy vs. UK) working styles, feasts etc. You can feel that this is a different universe not only a different country. This phenomenon is more obvious if you come from another continent.

2. Being alone, feeling lonely
Although in the big international cities you will able to find communities of your own nation. Most of us will miss the home environment, our family, our friends and our usual activities. Especially in the first period of you stay you can feel yourself lonely and lost in the new environment. To avoid this you need to start to build new relationships, and find some activities that you enjoy. The best thing is if you find an opportunity to do something together with the people around you.

3. Language
Thanks to the change in the educational view more and more people can speak at least one international language. But if you come to a country such as Hungary you can have hard moments that are related to this problem, as our language is very different from all other European languages. After a while you will be able to learn and understand what people say but still can be confused about the content. You may understand that the conversation goes about the dog, but you will be concerned if we would feed, or eat it.

4. School expectations
Each country, each culture has its own method and style of teaching and taking exams. If you go abroad you have to consider the differences also in this area. The relationship between teachers and students can also vary not only among countries but institutions as well. As long in Germany most of the teachers and professors expect high respect and keep distance from students, in Hungary it is very common that younger teachers and students are going out together without violating the frames of the different roles they play in the school.

5. Relationships
If different nations live together on the same place, in the same community it is quite obvious that they will develop romantic relationships. This experience can be very joyful, interesting and funny but means also that you have to solve some problems. You will face challenge of language. As at least one of you will not use your own native language in the communication, so it will set limitations for the self-expression. Culinary habits can be also challenging eg. eating a dish with salt or sweet. You have to deal with reactions of your family as well, if you fall in love with somebody who has another religion, comes from another nation etc. The minor or major differences can make your life exciting but can destroy a true love.

All these challenges are solvable, and if you give yourself time and keep yourself opened, you can have one of the most beautiful part of your life abroad.

If you have questions or if you need help, do not hesitate to CONTACT us.