Why Student and Expat Life Are The Same | ExpatWoman.com

Why Student and Expat Life Are The Same

We take a look at the ways student life and expatriate life are exactly the same thing...

Posted on

14 June 2016

Last updated on 22 October 2017
Why Student and Expat Life Are The Same

For many of us, we're taught from a very young age that we're expected to complete our secondary education, and to set university as our next target. In the narratives we're taught about "life", university or higher education is prominent. At least, in those cultures and countries where we're lucky enough to have access to prime higher education.

We're sure many students will have felt lost, somewhat lonely and a little overwhelmed at the thought of leaving home for the very first time. Even for those students who remain safe under their parents home, you still have to throw yourself out there.

"Get yourself out, go to some student nights, meet new friends with your new roommates", is the advice often shared by the more experienced in "life".

Of course, that's easier said than done. But you know what, students do it, you get out there, meet new people, make new friends. 

Why student life and expat life are the same thing

But once university is over,  for the majority of us that's it. Our horrific ordeal of placing ourselves in unfamiliar territory is done. Students graduate, we have made our relationships. The deal is sealed and delivered.

It probably took you a good two or three years to just get used to living as a student, but hey... It's over now. Congratulations! 

As an expat on the other hand, it's a continuous cycle of throwing yourself out there. How tiring!

People and potential new friends you meet come... And they go... The continuous revolving door of expat life continually places you in unfamiliar territories, that you are yet to suss out.

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As expats, we've come to realise... Many of us may still have the student mindset. Forcing yourself to shake the hands of umpteen different people in an attempt to find my one true expat friend. We've come to realise, as a result, that there are a lot of similarities between being a student and an expatriate...

1. You're always learning

Moving to a new country takes some research. Obviously. Anyone who's brave enough to move to a country they haven't extensively researched... We'll take our hats off to you, because you're seriously brave! There's always an opportunity to learn about the culture, the religion(s), the people, the history, the politics, the economy. You're forever learning something new. Educating yourself!

2. You're forever broke

Unfortunately this is the cold hard truth. No matter how much your salary, or how much tax you have to pay or how much you save... Somehow, somewhere, your money disappears. On what is beyond us.

3. You're always meeting new people

"Hey, are you a fresher? Me too! Let's be best friends" = "Hey, how long have you been in Dubai/Singapore/France? Awh amazing, maybe we can help each other!? Let's be best friends!" And this is a continuous cycle, every year, with each influx of a new batch of expats moving to where you live.

SEE ALSO: The 13 stages of becoming a new expat

4. But you always forget to Skype the important people

You're too busy making new friends, you forget to find time to get in touch with your existing friends, and you family. As a student, it was because you were either too busy in the library or out and about.

As an expat, it's because of all sorts of different reasons that are perfectly valid excuses; time differences, work, networking events, dinner with friends, work, sleep, eating, watching films, partying, exploring... See, lots of good reasons to forget about the important people in your life...

5. You're always exploring

This is a fun one! We have no doubt you'll always remember the fresher days when you could get out and about in your new stomping ground to explore with your new friends and roommates. Living abroad is quite similar, and we have no doubt you'll continually explore the place. There's always something new to try out or see in your adopted country!