Stepping out of your comfort zone as an international student

As an international student, this whole study abroad thing is not easy. Because you are in a strange country, you may find it difficult to integrate into a group or make friends or even communicate properly, so you start to fall into deep self-doubt and you lose your confidence. But I would like to say, please don’t give up on yourself, because campus life is wonderful, and I would like to give you some references from my own experience.

Be proud of yourself

Please think of it this way: we are in a strange country, speaking our second language, a language we have never spoken before. In doing so we are learning and living while getting good grades at the same time, which is quite difficult, and you should applaud yourself instead of giving up on yourself.

Take your first step

In the summer, I attended a new student networking event organized by the Newhouse School, held at the Syracuse Zoo. It was the first event I attended when I came to Syracuse University, and I stepped out of my comfort zone and took the initiative to interact with students from other programs. We saw various animals and ate roasted marshmallows together, which was a very interesting experience. In the process, I realized that communication is not difficult, you just need to take the initiative to start communicating. I am grateful to Newhouse for giving us a way to meet other students and start connecting.

A worthwhile experience

I am more than halfway through my master’s program. If I can do it, then you can do it, too. Please be brave enough to take the first step and fully experience and feel the diversity of campus life, and relax, because you will feel included here and it will be your most unforgettable memory.

Yuchen Pan is a graduate student in the new media management program at the Newhouse School.