Topend Sports Logo

10 Tips for International Student-Athletes

While studying abroad is a unique chance and fantastic experience, it also means living in strange surroundings far from home and friends. Of course, student-athletes have it a little easier in this area since they are accustomed to traveling to contests, training camps, etc. But even so, a lengthy study trip away from home will be a challenge for them. We have compiled ten suggestions for you to help you adjust quickly and efficiently so that you may feel comfortable studying abroad and settling into a new way of life.

student in a classroomstudying away from home is a challenge
  1. Being homesick is normal. It is absolutely natural that at first, everything will be unusual for you in another country, you will miss your relatives and home. And most often for many students, there comes a moment when it seems that you made a mistake by going to study in another country and you want to quit everything and return home. But we strongly advise you not to do this, but just wait a bit, devote more time to training in order to be distracted, and you will not notice how quickly you will join a new life.
  2. Make friends. Of course, everyone has a varied need for communication. While some people join any company instantly and feel the freest there, others only require a single friend who shares their interests. However, whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, we strongly advise meeting as many people as you can while studying abroad. Please be aware that joining a new team from the beginning is ideal. Since the first days pass quite rapidly, students get to know each other, trying to tell as much as possible about themselves. Try and you from the first days to begin to communicate. First, people love to be listened to. Secondly, you will be able to pay more attention to new acquaintances and talk to those who would not have made contact first. Thirdly, it's just easier to understand who you like and with whom it will be more pleasant to spend time. Also, many universities hold a welcome meeting where newly arrived students can get to know each other.
  3. Learn the language and culture. Not knowing the local language of the country you are in can often create communication problems and more. Universities almost always have courses for learning the language, as well as special adaptation courses, which talk about the peculiarities of the culture and mentality of the country. But student-athletes have even less free time than ordinary students, and attending courses at the university is not always possible. Therefore, we advise you to pay attention to online language courses. The advantages of online learning are many:
    • no need to leave the house and waste time on the road. Classes are held in the comfort of your own home.
    • it is possible to choose a convenient schedule;
    • there is an opportunity to learn from a person from any country, i.e. from a native speaker. For example, from a native speaker from the United States or using the service of Korean tutors online;
    • It is possible to study from any place where there is the Internet.

Also, before traveling to another country, you can start learning the local language in advance, or at least learn a few basic phrases to make it easier at first. You will certainly make mistakes, but being in an environment where this language is spoken, you will practice daily and improve your knowledge day by day. The main thing is not to be afraid to speak, no one will judge you for a mistake, but on the contrary, they will be glad that you are trying to learn their language.

  1. Attend interesting events. There is simply no time to get bored with student life because it is so hectic. Universities now provide a wide variety of clubs and groups where everyone can find something they enjoy. It could be a foreign language, chess, or movie course. In addition to everyday exercise, it's vital to go to the gym to maintain your fitness. Additionally, you can meet intriguing people there. Student theaters, painting, dance, and music facilities are all still operating, so there are plenty of options for creativity. Festivals, concerts honoring holidays, and days honoring national cultures are often held; foreign students are welcome to participate in the planning and performing of these activities. 
  2. Keep in touch with loved ones. Having a conversation with close ones can help you feel more at ease and receive support. Therefore, make frequent calls to your house or friends. This is crucial, especially initially when you're still getting to know people.
  3. Soften the Transition: If changes are hard for you, try to soften the transition from one condition to another as much as possible: choose a similarly planned housing, and bring important things with you. You can arrive in advance and “train to live”.
  4. Be always busy: let your every day be filled with interesting things, meetings, and sports. Visit new places, and take beautiful photos.
  5. Treat your move like a second birth. Feel the euphoria of realizing the opportunity to start living from scratch. Not everyone is so lucky, but you gave yourself this chance.
  6. Set clear, achievable goals and value your progress. Do not demand the impossible from yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes. See more about goal setting.
  7. Write down everything that made you smile: a funny word, a situation, or a pleasant meeting. When doubts, coupled with nostalgia, pile up, open your notebook and look at these weighty proofs that you made the right move. And smile.

We hope these tips will help you cope with the stress of studying in another country!

Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

Study Extra

Which field of the sport sciences do you want to study? You can browse our lists of sport science courses or sports universities. Otherwise, just check our conference list for further education.

 → How to Cite