International Students: Dealing with emotional anxiety, stress & depression

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Living in a different country with an entirely different way of life can be daunting. It is understandable to feel anxious or emotionally drained off.

Being a university student in Australia can be some of the most exciting years of your life. You get to meet new people, enjoy new experiences, and explore life in a new country. But these can also be some of the loneliest years. You can feel homesick, demotivated, anxious, or even depressed.

If you feel like this, you certainly aren’t alone! Studies have consistently shown that close to 70 per cent of university students report having poor mental health. So what should you do? Where should you go?

Feeling this way is totally normal!

Whether this is your first time in Australia or you’ve visited before, living in a different country with an entirely different way of life can be daunting. It is understandable to feel anxious or overwhelmed.

If you’re tempted to hide out in your room on particularly bad days, remind yourself of the reasons you came here. Listen to some music, go for a walk, and clear your head. Try to run some errands to keep yourself moving without having to focus too much, like doing your laundry or cooking a meal.

How is everyone else doing so well?

Occasionally, your negative feelings might be made worse by your other Indian friends who seem to be adjusting perfectly. Aren’t they nervous about taking buses alone? How are they learning a new currency?

Just keep in mind that they may have other struggles that you do not. Comparing yourself to other people isn’t fair, and it certainly isn’t productive – there’s no one else who is quite like you!

It’s good (and healthy) to talk it out

If you’ve made even a few friends that you feel comfortable around, don’t hesitate to open up to them. They might be feeling the same way!

If you’re struggling to make friends, there’s no shame in that! Australians might be more boisterous or outspoken than you’re used to, but they’re also some of the most welcoming people if you give them a chance. Try to join clubs that match your interests; you’ll get to meet other students who love the same things as you, and as we know, that’s always a great base for any successful friendship.

Manage your stress

Time management and lesson planning can go a long way! Instead of letting your assignments pile up, leaving you stressed and sleep-deprived, be proactive about your studies.

Invest in wall calendars or Post-It notes to keep track of important dates and submissions. Allot a few hours every week to your readings, meetings, and general studies – you’d be surprised how easy it can be to lose track of the reason you came to Australia in the first place.

Create study spaces where you can focus solely on your work. Experiment with a few different places like the university library, a café close to your house, or even study rooms in the university till you find the right fit.

Take advantage of university facilities

Every university has a counselling center because they recognize how difficult student life can be, especially for international students. Take advantage of these facilities! Make an appointment to meet a licensed professional who can listen to you and help you, if you need it. There is no shame in reaching out if you need some additional help.

You’ll also find that your university professors are very understanding if you are honest with them. They may provide you with extensions for assignments, direct you to appropriate avenues if you need academic assistance, or simply lend an ear.

Remember, you’re not alone in this!

READ ALSO: NSW Government will teach swimming to International students

- Advertisement -
Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Sydney. In 2021, she was the winner of the Alan Knight Student Award (NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards)

Related Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Vinod Dua passes away at 67

The pioneering and anti-establishment television journalist, and a walking encyclopaedia on India's culinary secrets, Vinod Dua, passed away on Saturday, months after he lost...

Review: Bob Biswas

  This film focuses on the assassin Bob Biswas, a character conceived by Sujoy Ghosh and Advaita Kala’s Kahaani ( 2012) starring Vidya Balan, thus...
gita gopinath

Gita Gopinath to become IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director

  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that Gita Gopinath, currently chief economist of the IMF, is set to succeed Geoffrey Okamoto as the...
Photographer Naidu Kumpatla and his shot of a Laughing Kookaburra tossing her catch. Images supplied

Naidu Kumpatla: Bird Man

  It’s Sunday night and bird photographer Naidu Kumpatla has just returned to his Perth home from a weekend at Camel Soak in outback WA. The...
antim screening

WATCH: Bollywood fans light fireworks in theatres during ‘Antim’ screening

  Salman Khan aka 'Bhai' had a much-awaited theatrical release with Antim: The Final Truth last week, joined by his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma. Unfortunately, some emphatic fans...