An Estranged Soul: A story of a foreign student in France

Have you ever wondered what international students’ life looks like? An estranged soul is an instagram account that gives you a genuine insight into my emotional journey as a foreigner in France, challenges I have encountered and how I have overcome my fears .

An estranged soul provides  you  with my personal experience and the different emotions I had to go through. I have chosen to divide the story into several episodes, each dealing with a challenge I have encountered and how I have managed to overcome it .

 « I was afraid, hesitant and anxious about my decision. The unknown is my biggest fear. I didn’t know what was awaiting me in the new country. »

From episode 1

This account resonates with every international student. You can find a part of you talking through the different episodes I have published. And this was my goal behind creating it: to give a voice to an often silenced part of society.

France is a cosmopolitan country that receives thousands of foreign students every year. They come to seek better education and to achieve their dreams. However, their everyday’s struggles have been always ignored. Their life seems to be easy and pleasurable  but no one knows the real  hardships they are going through except themselves. Even though universities in France offer a psychological follow up, most international students do not have  a place where they can share their inner fears and actual challenges freely. From challenging stereotypes, to being overwhelmed by the burden of representation , each episode seeks to break down the silence and shed light on an actual problem.

« I came to France to face my fears, and now I think that I have won the first battle. I have managed to turn loneliness from my worst enemy to my best companion. »

The account aims at creating a sense of hope through sharing some tips I have been using. It is not easy to face many complex emotions such as loneliness and homesickness at the same time. But it is important to know how to turn these feelings from a weakness to a source of motivation.

« Dear Narimane,

I want to congratulate you for your unlimited determination to reach your goals,and for your patience. In your previous episodes , each time you make me face one of my fears and knock it down. Each time, you make me believe more in myself, that I can do it, I am able to do it and nothing can stop me from doing it. »

What does not kill you makes you stronger. This quote encapsulates the essence of life and the whole message behind @anestrangedsoul. With every challenge we face and obstacles we overcome, we learn a lifetime lesson and explore our abilities that we have never thought of. To leave your comfort zone, travel and adapt to the new life, no matter how hard it is, is something that every international student must be proud of.

Narimane DHAOUI

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