Many international students will feel this at some point. You’re not the only one. The feeling of isolation is a part of culture shock which many people feel at some stage.
Some symptoms you might feel:
*You might be a bit homesick for your own food/comforts etc.
*Weight gain due to all the unhealthy food and no exercise.
* Crying for no reason
But there are ways around it such as:
* Talking to someone whether it will be your family/ friends back home.
* Make some new friends here. Some of them should be from outside of your course.
* Join a few clubs at RMIT. RMIT student union has quite a few clubs that might interest you. Check out: http://www.su.rmit.edu.au. And if there isn’t one, why don’t you start one? You only need ten interested students to start one.
There are also a few sporting clubs for you to join as well.
* Exercise. Get out of the house and go walking if you live near a park. Or walk to uni if you live close to it.
* Try new foods. You never know what you might like and your tastebuds will adjust very soon. Have a look at some of the Melbourne blogs for inspiration as to where you can go and what to try.
* Explore Melbourne and the rest of Australia. Sport and rec have many trips on offer as well as student union and they often subsardise trips for students.
* Is English your second language? If so try and make some local friends and practise your English. RMIT has English conversation classes every week during the semester to help students who are having trouble with English. It’s free and its better than failing! Trust me.
* Volunteer at local charities or Student Union. You can make plenty of friends and learn new skills along the way.
* Learn how to cook.
* If you have a TV at home, watch free to air TV. There are 16 free to air TV channels which has a whole range of Australian, Americian and English TV programs. And of course if you miss your homecountry SBS has a lot of foreign films for you to watch.
* Do your research about Melbourne and RMIT. Read lots of blogs and join RMIT MATE as a mentee.
A helpful note to the parents:
I know you like to put a lot of pressure on your kids but try not to. It does add to their sense of isolation. Too much pressure might result in them failing courses. Let them talk freely about how they feel and be there for them.
Let them settle in the first year and then put lots of pressure on them afterwards.