Many of us consider studying abroad a great opportunity. True, some time spent as a student in a foreign country affects your life greatly. You become more independent, more capable of dealing with various stresses, gain more knowledge, learn a foreign language (as well as find out more about another culture), becoming a more interesting person and a more valuable employee at the same time.
However, if you think that your experience in the foreign country will be nothing but pleasant, think twice. While studying abroad is indeed a great opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss, it also involves a lot of stress. Everything around you might seem strange, foreign, and hostile at some point. Moreover, there’s a big chance of you having to deal with various stereotypes and prejudice on top of that.
While most people are perfectly capable of overcoming these struggles successfully, in order to do so, you need to know what exactly you have to overcome. So, let’s talk about the most common stereotypes and prejudice you might face while studying abroad.
The Most Common Stereotypes and Prejudice
Every culture has a certain image based on their most distinctive features (they are usually portrayed in various movies, books, etc. but they rarely have something to do with reality). You shouldn’t subdue to those stereotypes yourself, of course. At the same time, you should still keep the stereotypes about your country and nation in mind in order to be prepared for what might come. These stereotypes might be quite good: for example, Americans are often considered friendly, open-minded, hard-working, and generous. However, they might be bad too: for example, some often see Americans as immature, too loud, rude, and wasteful.
You should remember that while some of these stereotypes are good and some are bad, every one of them can affect you in not a good way. You might be shy and introverted, but at the same time, people might expect you to be friendly and easy-going simply because of your culture. In this case this could lead to various misunderstandings: for example, people thinking you don’t like them instead of simply accepting the fact that you’re shy.
Prejudice can be quite unpleasant too. You might find yourself feeling like you are responsible for the image of your whole nation, having to address questions and remarks about views that you don’t actually share. For example, some people think poorly of Nigerian education: Nigerian school programs are considered too easy in some places and so there’s a common prejudice about the whole educational system. There are other common prejudices too, which are important for you to know:
- Nigerians are often considered ignorant of the rest of the world and their problems;
- Movies and TV shows affect the stereotypes and prejudice too: for example, you might have to answer why people in the Nigeria have so much sex or do so many drugs;
While researching these stereotypes and prejudice might be very unpleasant, it is still an important thing to do. This will make you more prepared to the challenges you might face. Moreover, when you learn the most common prejudice and stereotypes, you will be able to learn how to react to them.
How to Deal with All These Stereotypes and Prejudice?
Don’t be angry when people subdue to them. Sure, some people might be hostile to you, saying something offensive, but even in this case lashing off at them won’t be the best choice as it could lead to even more aggression towards you. If you find yourself in the situation like that, simply walk away.
Try to remain calm and patient even if people treat you in the way you don’t like. It might take time for them to change opinion, but if you are friendly towards them, they will change their mind eventually. Think of the way you can answer the prejudice addressed to you. While you might not have a clear opinion about all these questions listed above, you should consider developing one in order to be more prepared.
And don’t worry: even if it might seem tough at first, it will be fine later. Learning how to deal with that kind of things is similar to learning how to write a dissertation on your own without using the help of a custom writing service: you have to research a lot and probably worry at first, but then it all becomes much easier.
I wish you good luck with your studying and hope that you’ll be able to overcome all the challenge!
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin
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