Produced by Meet Jain
BA (hons) Marketing communications with digital media
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Being an international student is a rollercoaster ride filled with new experiences, challenges, and personal growth. After completing my first year studying in the United Kingdom, I eagerly returned home to India to visit my family. Little did I know that this visit would bring about a revelation: my family believed I had changed. Let’s explore how my journey abroad transformed me and the aspects they noticed.
Independence and Confidence: One of the most significant changes my family noticed was my newfound independence and confidence. Living alone in a foreign country forced me to step out of my comfort zone, make my own decisions, and navigate unfamiliar environments. This experience empowered me to become more self-reliant and assertive, which was apparent to my family from the moment I stepped off the plane.
Global Perspective: Exposure to a diverse student community and a new cultural landscape broadened my horizons and nurtured a global perspective. Through interactions with classmates from various countries and engaging in discussions on international issues, I developed a deeper understanding and appreciation for different cultures, traditions, and ideologies. My family noticed how I had become more open-minded and inclusive, embracing the beauty of diversity.
Adaptability and Resilience: Living in a foreign country comes with its fair share of challenges, from adjusting to a different climate and food to tackling academic pressures. These experiences helped me cultivate adaptability and resilience. My family saw how I had learned to navigate unfamiliar situations with ease, finding creative solutions and bouncing back from setbacks. This newfound strength amazed them and filled them with pride.
Enhanced Communication Skills: Living in an English-speaking country honed my language skills significantly. Constant interaction with native speakers and participation in presentations, seminars, and group discussions sharpened my communication abilities. My family noticed a remarkable improvement in my fluency, vocabulary, and overall confidence in expressing myself.
Appreciation for Indian Culture: Ironically, spending time away from home made me appreciate and value my Indian roots even more. Being exposed to different cultures abroad allowed me to view my own heritage through a fresh lens. I eagerly shared stories of Indian festivals, traditions, and cuisine with my international friends, proudly representing my cultural identity. My family rejoiced in seeing this newfound appreciation and love for our Indian heritage.
Visiting my family in India after my first year in the UK turned out to be a journey of self-discovery, not just for me but also for them. The transformation they witnessed in me was a testament to the growth and personal development that comes with living abroad. From independence and confidence to a global perspective and enhanced communication skills, these changes were welcomed by my family with open arms. Although I may have evolved, my bond with them remains as strong as ever, bridging the gap between two worlds and creating a beautiful amalgamation of cultures.