first step is thinking

I would like to share with you my story with a tiny little hope that my experience will be helpful for those who share the same idea that I did when I first decided to go and study abroad. This is where I am now, away from my whole family, surrounded by people of different nations and although it has been nine months since I am living in the United Kingdom, more precise, Colchester, I am still slightly confused of how adult life works.

At the beginning of this I would like to raise a serious question to the ones who will be reading this unfiltered monologue – is this exactly what you wish for? You should know that when I first decided to pursue my idea of studying in the England I did not do the obvious first step of stating the pros and cons. Now thinking about it I would like to align some of them to make the picture clear. Although, I know that these can differ depending on all kinds of circumstances.

See, you should always remember that when you go to live abroad and may I add – alone, it means that your living expenses will cost quite a lot to your parents. If your parents can afford it then I salute you, yet not every family can. Sure, if you play it clever then you can find a part-time job to help your parents financially which will also make you feel more independent. What is more, you can save some money if you rent a room in house share, though I will talk about it in more details later. As you can see, first factor will always be the money. Then again, to be honest, it seems like the only con I at first imagined.

Though it is not like that, eventually you will realize that even if those few years seem like incredible opportunity, you miss out a lot in your own country. You will probably not attend some of your family celebrations and friend birthdays, which I have experienced myself and it does make me regret not being around with them. It does seem silly at first, but longing for home will eventually overcome you too.

Other cons are everyday details that you probably haven’t thought about as if you get sick which hospital and which doctor you should attend, how you should spend your money and what essentials you should buy at first. Remember, that your mother won’t be around to cook you meals anymore and you will have to do it yourself. By experience I know that my housemate, a guy from China, did not know how to cook, although he did try to learn by watching YouTube videos. Then again, you can by take-away food, though it might cost you more. As you can imagine I did not think about such things at first, but it is worth thinking about as well.

If you then ask me about pros then for me it was the actual possibility of studying in a new environment and getting degree that would be well recognized worldwide. I am not impeaching the education system in my own country, but it is important to acknowledge that United Kingdom’s education is superior that of Latvia’s – country where I come from. Yet that was still not all of it as I was beyond happy of the possibility that I could move to another country that was so diverse and experience the life of a student while also growing up step by step from every challenge that life has set for me. Believe it or not, since I came here there have been plenty of mentioned challenges and I would love to share these stories of my misery to help others avoid them.

Returning back to the question that I stated at the beginning of the post, if you have thought of some and more of pros and cons of studying abroad and your mind has been made, then I want to congratulate you on making one of the most exciting choices in your life. I believe that this post was a good beginning of our journey together. It might not be extremely helpful, because oi, I am not a teacher or lecturer or your parent – they might give you more useful advice than me. Though I promise to be honest and show you how I got through this almost finished first year of my studies in the university far away from my home.


Girl with a coffee


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