Essay on Adapting to Live in a New Country on the Example of International Students

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Table of contents

  1. Method
  2. Results/Findings
  3. Discussion
  4. Conclusion

Nowadays people must face the reality of globalization and its effect on their lives. It brings about phenomena such as the cross-cultural adaptation, which in other words would be the adaptation between cultures and people who are living abroad. There are many reasons why people choose to move to another country, but the one that it is going to be treated here is study. According to United Nations (2016), there were 244 million of people worldwide living in a foreign country in 2015, and this number is always growing. When the subject is international students, the number was 5.3 million people worldwide and the main destination countries are United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany and Russia with reference to UNESCO (2019). It is thought that living abroad has its advantages, but it also has some negative points such as facing pre conception by others and missing cultural habits. This essay will illustrate the results of a study of the experiences of international students during cultural exchange and how they felt when they lived in another country. General conclusions will also be made about what are the features of adaptation to life in a new country.


This research was implemented as an online questionnaire sent by e-mail with 10 multiple choice questions. There were 17 participants and they were people who lived or are living in a foreign country. The survey was made in google forms and data was transformed into graphics so it was easier to measure the results and get enough information to discuss the main questions.

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The first chart illustrates the possible main facts which people who are living or lived in a country different than the one where they were born like less about their life there. 35,3% of them chose the option ‘Missing family’. ‘Loneliness’ and ‘Expensive life’ each had the same result (29,4%), so both are the second main facts. The third fact, ‘Hard to find a job’ has 5,9% while ‘House’ had no marks.

Both second and third charts approach the same question: preconception faced in the foreign country. In the first one, 64,7% of the interviewed said that they didn’t face preconception while 35,3% said that they faced it. In those who had a positive answer for the question, 85,7% answered that they faced cultural preconceptions in the country where they lived/are living, and 14,3% answered ‘others’ not specifying the kind of preconception faced. The options ‘Religious’, ‘Gender’ and ‘Sexual’ didn’t get any marks.

The fourth chart illustrates the four main feelings that people might felt/have felt after their experience of living abroad. 58,8% answered that it was amazing and that they would live it all again. 41,2% said it was tough but the experience is worth it. The other options ‘I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it again’ and ‘I couldn’t deal with it and I came back in the first opportunity’ didn’t have any marks.


First, the results showed that the hardest thing that people face in the new country is the miss of somebody, which can be family or someone else. This was expected once most of the people who go to start a life in a new country, specially to enrich their studies and increase their skill in speaking another language, go alone, without a friend or family. According to Oei and Notowidjojo (1990), in a research made with overseas students in Australia, it was proved that those who stay more than one year in the country are more able to develop depression than those who stay less than one year. It was also indicated that this depression has probably began with the feeling of loneliness, once those who stay longer have to face the farewell of close friends who might be another overseas student going back to his or her country. The argument that living abroad is expensive is true as this fact had 29,4% of the answers. In an interview for The Guardian (2013), Thomson Ch’ng, president of the Council of International Students Australia, said that “the high cost of living was the big factor for foreign students, despite Australia’s geographical advantage in attracting students from the Asia-Pacific region”.

The results about preconception, were also expected. More than half of the participants said that they faced it and almost all chose cultural as the kind of preconception that they have faced. As known, culture is a real important aspect for societies because it puts people together, transforms places, builds identities and moves entire nations. Therefore, it is imagined how hard it is to face a different culture, in a different country, with a different language and people. Culture shock, according to Anderson (1994), is a syndrome that happens when the mind and body react to a frustrating adaptation to a new culture, called cross-cultural adaptation. One of the main aspects of cross-culture is being rejected by or rejecting members of the new culture, which is called ‘preconception’.

Finally, the results showed that independently of the hard times during the period of studying or living abroad, if they exist, the experience is worth it and it helps people to build themselves, stronger, happier, self-esteemed and brave. The two possible answers to the question that had results are different but both illustrates that the experience was positive, either with tough times or only with good moments. Tomic (2015) mentions that after this kind of experience, you change the way you look things so things you look at change, same saying of Wayne Dyer, a self-help book author. He also says that the fact of doing things we fear increases confidence and self-esteem.


In summary, when adapting to life in a new country, a person might face many kinds of hard situations, including homesick, loneliness, expensive life and rejection by the local people. However, this experience collaborates with the desire for social interaction, and it is an opportunity for self-expression. After this challenge, the person will be able to understand better her or his own emotions, qualities and features. About the discrimination, though it is everywhere, there are many ways to approach it. Educators should encourage multicultural education plus not ignore preconception when they witness it in schools. In addition, the schools should provide a safe and secure environment for all students. Therefore, businesses should bridge the culture gap with good communication skills, celebrate traditional holidays and festivals of their employees’ countries and observe and listen to foreign customers and colleagues. This way, the experience of living abroad would be much more profitable for both foreigner and local citizen.

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Essay on Adapting to Live in a New Country on the Example of International Students. (2022, October 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
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