Shifting to a new country always had me on my toes. The idea of staying away from my parents had me fearing for the worst! Well, to be honest, traveling abroad had me excited and nervous at the same time. It’s been five years now and I still have the jitters whenever I think of that time. Whenever people ask me about my five years spent abroad, I have a lot to say. It’s really difficult to put that experience into words, well I’m trying to do so now!
“Amazing”, “Memorable”, “Best days of my life” are some words that you will read a lot throughout this blog, so please bear with it! Here it goes.
Deciding On Studying Abroad
I was always fascinated by life abroad and always wanted to live like that. Since my junior high school years, I decided I would study abroad. Well, there were some humps along the way as I initially wanted to go study in the UK but ended up studying in India. Choosing a major for me was no difficult task, I ended up doing a journalism major where I got French as a foreign language. Following the herd of students going to study abroad, I chose a city where exposure to foreigners was less, that city was Lucknow. A city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, where the population was Hindi and English speaking. I knew at that time, I had to adjust and that’s what I did during those 5 years – adjusting! I shifted to a hostel where mostly everyone knew I was a foreigner who resembled an Indian, due to my ethnicity. There were days where I was mostly locked up in my room, keeping up with the happenings in my country and talking to my parents were the highlights of my day. As the weeks went by, I felt more comfortable with the people in the hostel and built different complicity with them. I was the only foreigner in my batch and in the whole university. The first question being asked to me was “Why did you choose India out of all these countries?” and I always had a back story as to why I chose India. So after most questions were answered, an “Oh” could be heard! It was funny in the long run because I always anticipated this “Oh”.
Falling In Love With The City
Lucknow was not unknown to me as I visited it before but it was so quick that I couldn’t appreciate the beauty of this mesmerizing city. Instead, I focused on the bad things that the city delivered to me, so when I had the opportunity to discover the city again, I didn’t lose my chance. Being a journalism student had many perks and one of them was I could travel around the city and discover new places and meet new people. I traveled even to the remote cities around this city and had no worries being the lonely traveler. It is said that to discover a place, first try the local food and that’s what I did when I was there. I tried all the dishes even if most of them were terribly spicy. I can now proudly and surely say that this city is amazing and I had the best days of life there. At the end of the journey, I was less of a foreigner and more of a local or as they say in Lucknow “localites”. After five years, this city has changed me both mentally and emotionally. I dare to say that there is a bit of Lucknow in me.
What Helped Me Actually Changed?
Well, I have changed on many levels and it has helped me in perceiving life in a new window. Staying abroad has brought a different wind of change in my life. Below are some points on which I have excelled.
- I became more independent Living without my parental support made me more responsible and independent. From signing up for classes and having meetings with teachers to choosing accommodation and being responsible for the monthly groceries, living alone made me become independent.
- I knew how to handle all important paper-works Moving abroad involves a lot of paper-works, from passport paper-work to university paper-work, I know every single thing required for admission in my university. I even opened a bank account in order to be able to encash a check. Though I hate banks, I eventually did it and now I have an account in some bank in India.
- I have many international friends It is no wonder that I have more international friends than local friends. It is bound to happen that when you move abroad you will be having tons of friends. Living abroad and having international friends is nothing as compared to having international friends in your own country.
- I have a rich view on the cultural and social difference I have seen the difference in culture and social life in both countries and I accepted them both. Though it was a bit difficult in the starting, I adjusted! I have adapted to the attitudes, habits, tastes, and political views.
Well, that’s a part of my memorable journey and how it changed me. Stay tuned for the next post till then!