5 Common Fears About Attending University Overseas & Why You Are Overworrying

16/04/20217 minute read
5 Common Fears About Attending University Overseas & Why You Are Overworrying

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For many students who’ve spent their entire lives in a single country or city, the concept of attending universities overseas can be extremely daunting. This feeling comes about during a major transition in a young person's life, as they take the next step towards pursuing their career in a foreign environment. Here, we will look at the 5 common fears students like yourself have and why you may be over worrying.

1. I am leaving behind my friends and family

Leaving behind your loved ones can be very overwhelming. Navigating an unfamiliar place alone can make even the most sociable people feel anxious at times.

It’s important to remember that most, if not all, other students are in the same boat as you. The shared feeling of homesickness actually works as a great bonding experience where people are eager to create new friendships. Not only do students themselves become more open and receptive to new people, but the school itself works to promote high socialisation.

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There are multiple opportunities available on campus that allow you to meet unique people that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to connect with. Clubs & societies cater to a vast range of interests; not to mention accommodation, where you are living with like-minded individuals and interacting with them daily. Making friends at the world’s top universities can be as difficult or easy as you’re willing to make it. The important thing is to get as involved in your interests as you can and the rest will follow!

2. I am not good enough for a top ranked university overseas

This is a common fear, especially in New Zealand where tall poppy syndrome can make high-achieving students feel like they don’t stack up against the world’s top performers. This is an illusion, do not doubt your success. Just because you live in a small country at the bottom of the world doesn’t mean your achievements are any weaker than those in powerhouse nations.

You might question whether your own academic performance will translate on the global stage. For those who take internationally recognized curriculums such as IB or Cambridge, it is key to remember that your strong grades compare well globally. If you take the NCEA curriculum, it by no means shows you are achieving lower.

In fact, many overseas universities strongly desire diversity within their cohorts and seek students from different backgrounds. Your unique achievements and story can actually be used as a strength and an advantage in the admissions process. When crafting your application narrative, being from a small country with an unfamiliar culture is often a positive when trying to stand out in a sea of applicants.

Read 10 Reasons & Benefits of Studying Abroad

3. The high costs are not worth it

There is no getting around the fact that attending college overseas is expensive. Tuition itself is exorbitantly higher than domestic fees, let alone expenses like accommodation and travel. It can be difficult to visualise how these costs can pay off in the long term, so let's try to break it down.

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The average graduate salary for New Zealand students is just under $65k NZD. For US college students, this figure skyrockets to $92k NZD. This continues to increase tremendously as even the lowest Ivy League average graduate salary sits at over $111k NZD. The average Ivy League graduate salary is approximately $131k NZD. A lot of figures have just been thrown at you, so let's leave you with this key takeaway: the average Ivy League graduate salary is over double the domestic NZ graduate salary. What seems like a high cost now will pay dividends for years to come that are well worth the investment!

4. The idea of entering a new environment is daunting

Building from our first point, entering an unknown environment can scare even the most confident of people. Assimilating to new cultures and customs can be a long and unpredictable process that can make people feel quite isolated. However, going into an experience like this head-first is a great way to learn and broaden your horizons. Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there!

This is a prime opportunity to immerse yourself in a completely new culture. While the difference between NZ & US cultures may seem marginal from afar, you will soon realise how unique they are from each other and grow immensely once you’ve experienced it first-hand.

5. The application process is too large & complicated

One of the biggest disparities between NZ & US universities is the application process. While domestic universities have a relatively straight-forward process that doesn’t require much effort or thought, US colleges take so much more into consideration when looking at an applicant. While the workload required may catch you off guard, it’s important to remember that crucial factors such as extracurricular activities take years of planning in advance and your application is a slow burn rather than a quick flash.

Now that you’re feeling confident and ready, your next step is to begin the journey by planning out the time you have left before your application year arrives. If you’re serious about applying for top universities in the US or UK, get in touch with us for a free 1 hour consultation to find out what you need to do to make yourself ready for your dream university and how to get there successfully!

Crimson specialises in guiding aspiring students throughout this process from beginning to end. You will work with multiple strategists to help craft your personal essays, curate a comprehensive list of extracurricular activities and guide you through the deadlines and due dates. Our capacity to assist you doesn’t stop at applications; we offer services in everything admissions related such as university selection, research paper aid, interview preparation and subject tutoring.

If you’d like to get started, click below and begin your journey to a top US or UK university today!

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