Tips and Guidance for Incoming International Students at Webster University Georgia
November 13, 2023
By Tinatin Grdzelishvili
International students tend to deal with many hardships while studying abroad, ranging from academics to familiarizing themselves with the new environment. Therefore, at Webster University Georgia, we conducted a small series of interviews with our students to give incoming international students pieces of advice and tips on this matter. Through these interviews, incoming international students can expect to gain valuable insights into how to navigate their lives abroad.
Let’s take a look at how our students have responded to the given questions:
Question: Share a personal growth story or transformation you’ve experienced during your time as an international student, and how has studying abroad impacted your worldview and personal development?
Muzammal Rizwan: Studying abroad in Georgia has been a transformative journey for me as a Dubai-based Pakistani student. It has profoundly impacted my personal growth and worldview in several ways. Initially, I faced challenges related to cultural adaptation and homesickness. Overcoming these hurdles forced me to develop resilience, adaptability and cross-cultural communication skills. Being exposed to a diverse student body and a global perspective in my coursework has broadened my horizons. It has made me more open minded and accepting of different cultures, ideas and people. This experience has deepened my appreciation for diversity and the value of international collaboration. Moreover, studying abroad has sharpened my independence and decision-making abilities. I've become more self-reliant, which will undoubtedly benefit me in my future career. Overall, the personal growth I've undergone while studying in Georgia has been a pivotal part of my life, enriching me with a global perspective and preparing me for it.
Question: Can you share your experiences with adapting to a new culture at our university? What were the most significant cultural differences you encountered, and how did you navigate them?
Elisabed Alaverdashvili: Studying in Spain was a huge cultural shock when I discovered that people were not very welcoming at first. When you come to Georgia, the first thing you encounter is people pleased to greet you with open arms, which was not the case in Spain. However, understanding that different cultures have their own ways of doing certain things and trying to navigate from their perspective helped a lot.
Question: What advice would you give to incoming international students to make the most of their university experience?
Kote Kharchilava: The advice that I would give to international students who will be doing their bachelor in business administration is that if you already have upcoming projects that you're thinking about making or launching, Georgia is a tiny country, meaning that it's incredibly easy to find connections here. Such as good partners, possible investors or just friends who you want to talk to about business — you name it! If you join the right groups, then it’s easier here than anywhere else, just because of how small the place is, so you will have a great time if you come here and establish connections for your future enterprises.
Question: How has interacting with students from around the world enriched your academic and social experiences?
Mariam Korakhashvili: By having the opportunity to study and collaborate with students from diverse backgrounds, I have been exposed to different perspectives and methodologies of doing things, which I don’t think I would if I were to study in a non-diverse environment. For all students who will continue their education in an establishment that provides cultural diversity, I recommend making the most of it by being receptive to your peers’ ideas and staying open to ideas that are different than your own.
Question: What nearby attractions or travel destinations would you recommend to international students looking to explore the region?
Elisabed Abalaki: Georgia is a country with a rich history and diverse culture, and one of the best things about studying in Tbilisi, Georgia, is that it has something for everyone. If you are a person who likes strolling and sightseeing, I would recommend you see Old Tbilisi. Walking in the narrow cobblestone streets and looking at ancient architectural buildings is very pleasant, and the must-visit places in that area are the Narikala Fortress and Tbilisi Botanical Garden. There are many gathering places in Tbilisi, so don't worry if sightseeing isn't your thing. In places like Wine Factory, a lot of people gather in the evenings and have fun; there is music, food and drink, and a great environment. If you want to spend your weekend outside of the city and are interested in history, just a few hours from Tbilisi, the ancient city of Mtskheta, home to numerous historic sites, is a must-visit destination. During the winter, if you love skiing, snowboarding or even ice skating and would like to have an amazing time in the snowy mountains, I recommend visiting Gudauri and Bakuriani. Another great destination is the country's wine region, Kakheti. You can explore Georgian wine culture by touring vineyards and tasting wine. Apart from wine tasting, Kakheti offers other interesting activities, such as exploring the ancient city of Signagi. The best time to visit Kakheti is in the fall because you have the opportunity to see the whole wine-making process. Georgia is a really interesting country, and international students should take advantage of their time here and explore all that the region has to offer.
We hope that with this article, our students offered a glimpse and ignited your curiosity about what's waiting for you here. We invite you to reach out to us for any further information or clarification, and we look forward to welcoming you to Webster University Georgia, where your educational aspirations will find a supportive and inspiring home.