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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Going overseas...

Posted by BooNBoX

The verdicts are out and some of you might be already started to pack up to go overseas for your studies. I'm sure these would be useful for all of you that is going overseas for your studies soon.

What to do ?
- Be mentally & physically prepared
All of us will undergoes a process called 'Culture Shock'. Depends on your own progress, some may need a few months getting used to it. Culture shock, describes the anxiety and feelings (of surprise, disorientation, confusion, etc.) felt when people have to operate within an entirely different culture or social environment, such as a different country. (from Wikipedia) The further you are going the bigger of culture shock you are having. Relax... It's not a disease ;) and you will be fine after a period of time.

Other than that, you will need to know the physical condition in that country. If it's cold, bring more clothes, etc. I believe you are too big for me to remind you about these... lol.

- Know more about the Country's Culture / Know more friends
"What for study about their culture? I'm going there to study my course, not to study them!" Don't ever think like these. No matter how avoidable you are, it's likely you'll be contact with the locals one day in your life, afterall it's their land ! Learn more about others' culture might help you to mingle well with them and always remember - it's always important to have friends when you are futher from home, since it's the only lifeline you've got!

What to bring ?
- Passport, Visa, Student Pass, University Acceptance Letter, all Admin stuff etc..
Please please do remember those important documents that you will need for your registration and also immigration process. You won't want to be sent back for not having certain documents ok?

- Memorabias, Family Photos, Journal
Trust me! You'll need them some time!

- Bring Must-Bring stuff but not Need-to-Bring stuff
Normally there are quotas for your baggage and of course you won't want to waste the kgs on things that you don't really need or you can buy it there. Do revise on the price of products before depart to that country, if it's not much differ than I suggest you to buy it when you are there, one is to save your baggage kgs for other stuff while secondly it's lighter and easier for you to carry !!

.. To be continued...
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  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your excellent advice. You said exactly what I said when I was a teacher in a programme designed to prepare Japanese students for university studies overseas. I'm sure that the message hits home more when it comes from a peer. I'm going to pass your post on.
    Best regards,
    Michael Stout

  2. Well said,

    It is very important to do a little research on the place that you're going to.

    Culture is definitely something you have to experience yourself, and no doubt there will be a fear of culture indifferences. Most importantly, have an open mind but keep your roots at heart. You don't have to be like them to learn ;)

    Climate changes are very important. As you know, Malaysia is a tropical country where it is hot and humid. If you are going to study during the winter season, be sure to have one good jacket to bring along ...

    My advise, don't bring many jackets. Have one good jacket, and maybe another lighter jacket to wear. Scarfs and Hat/touqes are very important as they keep 80% of the heat from your body.

    Also, from experience ... I never wear a thick wool sweater with warmers inside. I always opt for layers. Because you will never know how cold is cold when you step down from the plane. The country isn't always at -20C ;)

    So have layers, get longer tops that cover till your hips so that cold wind won't get inside your body. Cover that with another T-shirt if you like, or have a sweater pull-over. With 2 - 3 layers and a good jacket ... it's enough to go.

    If you like more information, feel free to give me a shout at eysling@shaw.ca

    I've experienced the coldest winters as far as -40C in Canada ;)

  3. Hi,

    I stumble upon this blog while surfing for msian blog. I am a malaysian who currently living in the states. From my experience culture shock and climate change would not affect u as badly as language barrier. Better prepare yourself with excellent comunication skills before u heading out to overseas.

  4. Cheers bro, I've been studying in NZ for more than a year now. Based on my experience here, when you first arrive, expect that the climate is a bit drier that M'sia. Mosturizer and lip balm is essential for the first few months. Try to get info on the season that you arrive on. There's different between northern and southern hemisphere obviously.

    For those who are arriving on summer, you're lucky because winter clothing can be bulky and it's cheaper to get it in your host country. Wear in layers instead of a thick bulky sweater.Get a thermal underware too.

    Try to avoid bringing food in, officials can be fussy, esp in Australia. If you really have to, bring Maggi. For Muslims, there's a lot of them here and most of the time you don't have to worry much on food and places of worship. M'sian products can even be found in Asian suprettes. There's not much cultural shock really. For some conservative one, they stick to their groups and those who more open mix around. Communication skill can be learn along the way, given that you mix around and chat with local instead of hanging around too much with M'sian.

  5. Hiya,

    I'm a Malaysian who currently living in the UK. Apart from preparing our departure, I think the most important is to have some sought of survival skills in the new country.

    Many of us, this might be our first time leaving our parents and trying to be self-dependent. Obviously, we need to figure out all our daily needs e.g. food, travel, etc. Simple things such as where to get rice (Malaysian loves rice), where to buy cheap rice cooker, how to get students discounted travel card, how to find bargain stuffs, so on and so forth!



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