Zhou Zhou is an international student from China studying at the University of New Mexico

The Effects of Fearing Studying Abroad

Zhou Zhou, an international student from China studying at the University of New Mexico, shares some of the effects that happen when you fear studying abroad.

Zhou Zhou submitted the following article to ISV Magazine:

Benefited by advanced transportation, many students are studying abroad. While many students are afraid of studying abroad, and the fear has caused a lot of bad effects. One of my friends was even repatriated because he missed too many classes. When I asked him why he did that he just told me he was afraid of studying abroad and had no courage to take classes with so many foreigners! That’s really a tragedy. As an international student from China, I see many international students are affected by fear of studying abroad.

Firstly, the number of students studying abroad is falling and the future of some countries has been affected. According to a research by Japan Times (Dec. 27, 2010), a famous official newspaper in Tokyo, Japan, “the number of Japanese students studying abroad has been falling”, and “fear of studying abroad among students is a likely reason” for the fall in the number of studying abroad in Japan and this decline may have fatal influences on Japan’s future.

Secondly, some private factions are popular among the international students. Because of fear of studying abroad with foreigners, many international students only communicate with people from the same country, they feel afraid when facing foreigners but don’t feel afraid when facing people from the same country. As a result, many small groups formed. These private factions’ students don’t share with other students who are not in the same faction and only discuss in their own groups. The consequence is, the information they get may be not correct. Because people from the same country may take the same mistake when listening to teachers’ words.

Thirdly, like my experience, fear of studying abroad could affect study. At the beginning of my studying abroad, fear of studying abroad often troubled me. I always felt nervous when I was taking a class. I couldn’t concentrate my mind on what I was studying, so I often missed some discourse the teacher had just said. It really made me suffer a lot.

Besides, fear of studying abroad often cause health issues, especially for Chinese students. Meirong(2009) indicated that many physical problems of Chinese international students, “such as sleep disturbances, eating problems, fatigue, stomachache, or headache” (p.71), may result from mental stress. While Chinese international students may think seeking mental health services is a disgrace, so “they may choose to keep their difficulties or emotional problems to themselves” (p.72). This tendency increases Chinese international students’ riskiness to depression.

Therefore, fear of studying abroad can cause many bad effects. Both influence country and individual, and influence study and health. So, it is very important for international students to get over fear of studying abroad as early as possible.

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