Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Five tips to help new international students at Camosun College

September 21, 2016 by He Wei, web editor

There was once an English tourist who found he only had enough money to buy a ship ticket to go home after he visited Norway. It was only a two-day trip, so he decided to not eat any food on the ship so he could afford the ticket.

The first day, he did not eat breakfast; at lunchtime, he still hid in his room. At dinnertime, he was very hungry, and he could not tolerate any more. He thought, “I want to eat food, even if they throw me to the ocean after I eat dinner.”

At dinnertime, he ate all of the food that the waiter gave him, and he prepared to have a serious quarrel when he told the waiter he had no money to pay.

“Give me the bill,” he said.

“I don’t have any bill,” the waiter answered. “On the ship, three meals a day are included in the ship ticket.”

This is only a joke about travel, but it shows how people can encounter troubles if they’re not fully aware of the customs of where they are. New international students will encounter problems and troubles because they have to live in a new and different culture and country.

I know because I’ve been an international student for a couple of years. Here are five tips of mine to help make things easier for international students at Camosun College.

Which way to Dawson? Navigating Camosun College can be tough for new international students (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

Which way to Dawson? Navigating Camosun College can be tough for new international students (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

Money matters

Some people may dislike talking about money, or think it’s nonsense to worry about it. However, I want to say this: taking enough money with you is really very important.

Sometimes, when people do not have money, they can be anxious and worried (like in the joke at the top of this story). In a foreign country, keeping enough money in the bank is a basic necessity for living and studying. If students do not have enough money, they will not live very well, and this will influence their studies. Easier said than done sometimes, but if possible, save up as much as you can before your big move.

Making friends

When people go into a new environment, they can feel nervous and lonely. However, making friends can help people reduce these feelings. Why do people have negative moods when they are in new surroundings? It’s self-denying and being disappointed in oneself, and these feelings are released by a negative mood. Sometimes it can actually be a bit tough for new international students to make friends with domestic students because local students already have their friends; see if you can find students from the same country you’re from, or other international students.

Volunteer your time

Becoming a volunteer can help new international students gain more useful information and learn about Canadian culture. When students want to live better in Canada, they need to learn more local information and culture. Volunteering is an effective way to obtain information. Besides, international students usually miss their home; volunteering activities are helpful to get your mind off of being homesick.

What you’re reading right now

Alright, when you read that, maybe you’re laughing, or maybe you think this is an advertisement, but I’m serious. New international students usually do not have great language skills, but reading or volunteering at a student newspaper can help improve them. Nexus newspaper is written by Camosun students, and it’s very easy to get started here. Volunteering at Nexus newspaper will help international students improve their reading and writing skills. Also, Nexus newspaper includes Camosun-related news and content such as book reviews, arts coverage, comics, and more. This will give new international students, who may feel life here is boring if they don’t know what to do, a chance to take in some fun after class.

Stay happy

New international students may feel nervous or worried here at Camosun. At the very least, you should always keep a happy heart. My little cousin is also a new international student this year; I always tell her to keep a happy mood every day. Studying abroad is difficult, so keeping a happy heart is important for living and for studying.

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