Learn How Students Can Maintain Their Mental Health While Studying Abroad
As an expat student, there can be various challenges that may mar your academic progress, especially if you have any mental issues. Studying abroad may not be an exciting experience if you have to experience culture shock or homesickness for long. If you have preexisting mental problems, you have to be extra cautious to ensure that there are no prolonged bouts of depression and anxiety when you begin a new life overseas.
Getting used to a completely new schedule and the fear of dealing with the unknown can take a toll on a student’s mental health. Things can turn from bad to worse because of limited access to loved ones and friends. So, being thoroughly prepared to deal with various emotional issues can be the best bet if you want to make your foreign stay pleasant and fruitful.
Here are 6 tips that will assist you in maintaining mental health and feeling comfortable enough to continue your education abroad:
1. Monitor Your Medications
If you are on prescribed medications, you should continue them till the time your psychiatrist or doctor tells you to stop or change. Before you move abroad, do the necessary research to see if the medicines you are using are legal in the host country. Many countries have strict regulations regarding the use of prescribed mental health drugs. So, it is always better to stay informed about things that are considered legal as well as illegal in your chosen destination. This will also help you in making a switch if required before you make the final move. You should also bring your prescriptions and any reports that may assist a foreign doctor.
2. Have Easy Access to Therapies Abroad
Ask your psychologist or psychiatrist if you can avail the required therapies or services in your host country. You can also look for such services online and get in touch with experts working near your new neighborhood or college. It would be better if you find a psychologist who understands or knows your language so that you can communicate effectively.
3. Keep Map of Your New City
It is quite easy to get lost in a crowded city, especially if you are a first-time visitor. Getting acquainted with a new place takes time; so, carry a map of the city whenever you are outdoors even if you have access to Wi-Fi on your mobile phone. Relying on co-passengers or locals to guide you while touring a new city is not advisable, especially if you are dealing with certain mental issues. The anxiety to reach a particular address would be the last thing you would want when you are in a new destination.
4. Don’t Be Scared To Seek Help
Once you are enrolled in a university abroad, reach out to counselors for availing the required mental health therapies. You can also talk to fellow expats and people you trust to know about reputed psychologists and psychiatrists. You may be lucky to find a classmate who can guide you in every possible way during your initial days as an expat. Most universities abroad will provide special access and services to domestic and expatriate students that will assist them with their overall physical and mental health. Many of these services are free.
5. Learn To Cope With Mental Issues
Being prepared for uncomfortable situations in advance always helps. If you have dealt with anxiety and depression earlier, you should prepare yourself for the worst because bad days come unexpectedly. Ideally, you should learn some techniques to deal with emotional or mental issues and breeze through those troublesome days. Grounding techniques like exercise, yoga, meditation, and reading can help you deal with anxiety. There are numerous coping techniques that can help you feel better in a foreign country. The therapist you visit can also assist you in learning different mechanisms to cope up with stress.
6. Stay Connected With Loved Ones
Today, staying connected with friends and loved ones back home is quite easy. You can use Facebook, Skype, or WhatsApp to be in touch with your loved ones regularly. You can also communicate with fellow expat students and know how they are dealing with various challenges. This will help you understand that you are not the only one going through the grind as an expat student.
Stay Healthy and Be Happy
There are innumerable ways to prepare for academic success abroad; however, don’t let mental issues dampen your zeal to endeavor and enjoy your time in your chosen destination. A positive mindset can also help you overcome various obstacles that may come in your way when you enroll in a university or college abroad. Take good care of yourself and try to banish negative thoughts that can eventually cause anxiety and depression. You can follow the tips mentioned above and make your expatriate life memorable. The above is just basic and common knowledge tips – Make sure you follow your medical practitioner’s instructions.
Health Insurance: It is advisable that you purchase global health insurance if you are studying abroad as the new university may not provide coverage or it may not be adequate. A good mental health plan can also assist you in a mental health crisis. You certainly deserve the best when studying abroad!