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Studying and Living Overseas

For a young person, having left home for the first time and having to live in a new environment, there is no question that life is going to be tough. For most young people it will be the first time that they will be compelled to do all the household chores, attend to their studies and look for part time work. Once part time work is found there will be pressure to meet the new demands of an unusual work environment. What is more disturbing is when the child is not feeling very well due to physical or mental reasons, mum and dad are not there to fuss around and console the child. But this is reality and any young person embarking on the long journey of life has to come to terms with this fact. To conquer this long and hard trek there needs to be focus and determination. Adjustments in attitude and expectations are necessary and if effected, should make the ride smoother.

Before Leaving Sri Lanka

When preparing to leave Sri Lanka, it will be very useful to get an understanding of the country that is going to be home for the next few years. General knowledge of climatic conditions, political structure and the socio economic environment will assist the transition in many ways.

Cost of clothing and other essential goods are a lot cheaper in Sri Lanka than in many popular study destinations. Knowledge of climatic conditions will help reduce initial expenditure needed to purchase appropriate clothing after arriving in the new country. If these were purchased prior to leaving Sri Lanka the ensuing savings will be quite significant, especially in the very difficult initial stages. The dress sense in those countries is very different to Sri Lanka. Therefore it is not necessary to carry a lot of formal wear. Also students are usually allowed extra baggage allowance if they ask for it at the time of buying their air ticket. But a whole lot of items should not be packed in one bag. This could cause problems at the airport. Always make sure the maximum weight in a bag is less than 25kg.

Traditionally mothers love to stack the bag of the departing child as if he /she is going overseas to live in a famine stricken country for many years to come. It is useful to carry some favourite local cuisine but this should not be overdone because it can be costly and time consuming. Also, not all local cuisine is allowed into every country. This is particularly true with milk, meat and uncooked products. So it is important to find out the quarantine regulations of the country concerned.

Certain other information like contact details and accessibility once in the new country may be considered trivial and may not receive due attention. However, if something goes wrong and if at that time the required information is not available, this could lead to much heartache. Obtain all the required information in the new country and be prepared.

Staying Focused on the Task at Hand

The task at hand is not to pass the next examination. It is a major portion of the task but is not the whole objective. The task is to get a complete education. There needs to be a holistic approach to passing examinations. Passing an examination without a thorough understanding of the subject is of little use. Thorough understanding of the subject would certainly mean acquiring all tools required to perform effectively and efficiently as a highly skilled professional in the chosen profession. If the profession was chosen exercising due diligence as discussed in a previous article, staying focused on the task at hand would become relatively easy. The main reason being this is not something completely alien or something that the student has undertaken because he /she has to, but because he / she wants to. Even in the event that this is not exactly the perfect choice, it is important to make an attitude change. Irrespective of likes and dislikes, now that the stage is set, prepare to perform and excel. If the performance is done half heartedly, it is never going to be a complete success.

This is one instant where the metal of the student is tested in demonstrating the ability to withstand various pressures and not resort to shortcut methods of passing the examinations. This is not only a good breeding ground but an opportunity as well to nurture important life skills such as endurance, perseverance, street smart know how, patience and honesty to oneself.

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