The thought of leaving home can be so thrilling at times, especially when you think of the amount of freedom you'll have. All the crazy things you can do without your parents really finding out, LOL!
Well living and studying away from home isn't as easy as it sounds, it became evident to me the day I went totally broke.
I've decided to create yet another series but this time its on surviving abroad as an international student. In this first part I'll share general tips based on my experience for the past 5 years I've been living and studying in Sarawak, East Malaysia. 

1. Stock up
I feel it is necessary to stock up on everything you can, things like food items that don't go bad quickly like noodles, rice, milk cartons, oats, etc. And other basic necessities like soaps, detergent, personal hygiene items and even stationary items. || the  last time i bought stationaries was 4 years ago...imagine ||. Doing this helps you get by for a while when you run low in cash and you also don't worry much about not having food.

2. Budget
I wish I understood what this actually meant when I was 16 ||Yes, I began university at that age...I was under the foundation program though|| I didn't understand the currency here so the lack of zeros on price tags made me believe everything was dirt cheap. I bought everything and did everything without a single!. These days I start planning what I'll do with my money even before my parents send in the transfer....its crazy but it works. 
Do your money math, budget your expenses and cut down on the unnecessary spending; but its okay to treat yourself once in a while. 

3. Save
After, I learnt my lesson on spending and figured that I'll never really stop treating myself I made it a point to collect coins and notes of the lowest denomination (1RM). This is because these are the most annoying "money" to carry, the coins add unnecessary weight to my purse and the 1RMs are just too plastic-y it gets on my nerves. So whenever the pouch felt heavy I knew it was time to indulge, these 'savings' have come in really handy as well when I went totally  broke, I was able to buy small groceries. As of recent they have enabled me to take the cab to campus twice a day 3 times a week. 
Also if you can have 2 accounts with the bank then that will be very great, you can put the money far away for recession the period. 

4. Make local friends
Having people/ friends from the same country is good, it makes you feel at ease even though you are away from home. But you will not learn or experience something different if you surround yourself with your country men. Go out there and make friends with random individuals who aren't from your country. It doesn't matter what your countrymen think of you, you are not obliged to please them.
This is the best yet, advice my father gave me when I was worried about not liking to be around my fellow countrymen.
Besides the locals know of all the cool stuff and places.

Road trip with the besties to TEBEDU, Indonesian and Malaysian border

5. Choose friends wisely...and housemates too.
I'm a very picky person when it comes to who I want to be friends with. There are requirements in my head that the person has to fulfill to qualify as my friend....||weird yeah?||. I generally tend to befriend humble people 2-3 years older than I am because I am ever in need of sensible advice, the rest is all me gambling on my perception of that person.  
Also, if you are looking to stay in other accommodations rather than the one offered by your university, chances are you'd live in an apartment therefore i'd suggest you pick housemates wisely too. I am a person who gets easily frustrated by little things, and I am also the kind to keep things to myself. Its hard for me to communicate how this other person is frustrating me without coming off as mean, so that's I why I like choosing to stay with people who know me and would understand me when I communicate to them without being offended.

w/ Naima, fave housemate and initial blog photographer

This is all for today, be sure to leave your comment on what your thoughts are about the post and any useful tips on surviving abroad.
Thank you for stopping by, have a blessed day. 

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