Only one month to go til we welcome a new batch of students onto our Foundation Year programmes, so we thought it might be handy to put together a simple guide to help you get the most out of your experience of studying the Foundation Year abroad.
1. Be Brave
If studying abroad wasn’t already pushing yourself out of your comfort zone already, you can take the next step! Being brave means speaking to the local people, introducing yourself to your classmates, signing up to social activities and generally saying ‘yes’ to all that the study abroad experience offers. Being open to new people and experiences early on in your Foundation Year will help you to settle in quickly, keep that homesickness at bay and get a head start on making your lifelong friendships that comes with studying in a small Foundation college.
2. Ask for Help
We can honestly say that the student’s who do the best on the International Foundation Year programme are the students who ask for help! Whether you are just unsure of something your teacher covered in class, or you feel like you are falling behind – always reach out and ask for help. Your teachers and tutors will be regularly checking up and seeing how you are getting on, but if you keep telling them you are fine, then they can’t help support you.
The teachers in DIFC will go above and beyond to help you achieve your dream university place – but they need you to play an active role in your learning and speak up when feel you need extra support.
3. Immerse Yourself
Part of the joy of living in a foreign country is experiencing the local culture and landscape! In Dublin, in particular, there is always events and festivals – small and large – that you can join in to experience the Irish way of life. Plus, one of the benefits of joining in is the opportunity to talk with and meet local people – all of which will help you to practice your English language skills! So it’s practically studying! The best starting place in Dublin.ie which has a great, up-to-date event listing. Look for events you might like, but also try something new, like going to a comedy show to see if you like the Irish humour!
4. Be mindful
A common issue to pops up once you are living away from your support network – your family – is feeling a little anxious or overwhelmed. This is completely normal, but it shouldn’t be ignored either. Learning who to manage anxiety and stress is an important part of your Foundation studies. In fact, it’s one of the benefits of studying a Foundation Year as you are in a small, supportive environment and our dedicated Student Welfare Officer is on hand to talk and assist your wherever possible. We also hold wellbeing sessions to help you learn coping mechanisms for exam stress and other stresses that may impact your studies.
Being mindful doesn’t mean you have to meditate! It is working out for you what you need to do to keep a healthy mind – whether that is ensuring you get a good night’s sleep, have some quiet time first thing in the morning, or getting our in the fresh air for a walk a few times a week.
Image source: Monkstown Education Together
5. Have fun!
And lastly, have fun while you are doing all the above! Having a positive mindset and doing activities that you enjoy, will help you to enjoy the whole experience of studying Foundation. It’s also important to ensure you allow time for some fun, outside of your studies – as having a break from the books is sometimes just as important as studying in the first place.
There is still time to join the International Foundation Year with DIFC for this year – we have two intakes in September 2021 and January 2022. To start your study abroad journey