Overseas Students' Difficulties -1
The name Research Student reminds me of Marquez’s famous novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. Unfortunately, as research students, we don’t have enough opportunity to make communication with people and gradually we will find our life boring.
We receive a computer set and a desk in a shared office. Every morning we start our daily program with our PC and this can waste all of our creative time and energy. Browsing new books and journals and reading related articles in the branch library is another significant activity of a research student. You would be lucky if your supervisors are native English speakers, although you see them just once every second week. Whether your office is shared with native or international students, it is not fair to interrupt their concentration and altogether the office should be silent at all times. In many countries Ph.D. is just research and there is no coursework. As a result, there are few chances to have direct contact with other people in the school.
The type of accommodation also affects the quantity of our friends. Students usually have four choices for their accommodation:
1) Living alone. Never try it! This is my recommendation.
2) Living in shared houses and units. This might be a good opportunity to make relationship with people and have fun, especially if you can find both native and ovearsea housemates. Don’t live with some people that are from the same country. Why? Because if they are native it is hard for you to enter in their strong group and if they are from another country, they’ll speak in their language and in both cases you will be alone.
3) Living in residential colleges or dormitories. This is excellent for undergraduate students and I think this is the best way for living without homesickness as well as for learning English. However their fees are very expensive and postgraduates live separately.
4) Living with partner or Iranian friends. If you are married or if you are living with Iranian guys, Persian will be automatically used in most times. This condition reduces your chance to improve your English skill. However, it is the best way to live far from your family, friends, hometown and country without or with less homesickness.
In summary, a research student is an alone person and married students probably have a better condition, although the poor fellow is alone all day. Finding some reliable friends and neighbours is a good way to overcome the loneliness difficulties. Changing the tedious daily program and giving yourself an off can be effective too.