Mistakes are truly unavoidable, but for many international students, simple mistakes can be costly. Here are five common mistakes that international students do that you should change now:

“My excellent grades are enough to land me an admission.”

Academic excellence isn’t the ultimate test of character to study abroad. As a matter of fact, if high grades are the only things you have going for you, then you won’t get very far.

To truly propel your profile forward ahead of other candidates, consider other things that aren’t limited to academics. The selection committee that will assess your application will look for other things like your specific passion and purpose.

“This isn’t even an Ivy League school. Why bother applying?” 

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when applying for a university abroad is limiting your own options. If your list of choices is dominated by big, prestigious university names you’re doing a big disservice to yourself. 

Don’t make the mistake of obsessing over world-famous schools. We’re not saying you should omit them from your options, just don’t concentrate on them. There are many universities out there that have higher chances of admission and more affordable tuition rates.

The prestige and quality that come from top-ranked universities are truly undeniable. But at the end of the day, it will define your academic journey.

“I’ll just research on the basics of living when I get there”

Studying abroad is one of those few situations when crossing the bridge once you get there isn’t going to do it. Admission is a complex and rigorous process so adequate research is extremely vital.

Attend pre-departure orientations and read multiple books on what life is like in your host country. To help you get started from visa application to life adjustments, you can read our articles here on MSM Unify. We have plenty of stories to help you get acquainted with life as an international student. 

“My funds are enough. I don’t need a scholarship”

Dismissing the power of scholarships is another mistake that foreign students make. Sometimes, even after exhausting every cent of your student loans and savings, it will never be enough.

Scholarships are a great source of college funding. And in most cases, they’re also a fantastic way to build a network of reliable individuals.

Also, don’t ignore scholarships for the fear of not qualifying. Not taking a chance is another great mistake.

“I don’t want to be misunderstood. I’ll just keep this to myself”

A language barrier is a serious issue among international students, often affecting the way they communicate. Foreign students often keep things to themselves as they’re afraid of speaking out.

Don’t be afraid to speak out. Other students are generally helpful when you’re learning their language. Just always remember to be patient and learn at your own pace. 

Changing negative thoughts is necessary to successfully adapt to a new stage in your life as an international student. Read our stories here on MSM Unify to learn more.

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