Love Where You Live and Learn!
Studying in the United States, as an international student, is one of the most unique and exciting opportunities you can ever experience. Students from all over the world study in the US, so you won’t be alone when you arrive at your destination. In addition to making lifelong friendships that you will cherish forever, you will learn about different religions and cultures. Who knows, you may just make a friend who lives in the city of your dreams and you may just have a place to stay when visiting them during your university career and after graduation. However, navigating your first month in a new city or town is paramount to your social and academic success, so take advantage of this article to learn more about how to make the most of your first month in a new city.
The first step in considering a US education is conducting online research to find out where you want to live for the four years you will be earning your degree. You might have a particular university in mind, or you might know where you want study. Learning more about the city or town in which that university is located is very important. Are you looking to study in a large city, a medium-sized city or a small town? There are benefits to all of them! Perhaps you have lived in a large city and want to continue living in a place with public transportation that can take you wherever you want to go. Many other students enjoy going to universities in small, picturesque towns where there is lots of peace and quiet for studying and personal reflection. Regardless, getting around effectively will involve additional research. Sometimes getting lost is okay, especially if it helps you find a public park, book store or maybe even a coffee shop to use as your new favorite study spot. Visiting that city as part of the college search is great, but if that is not possible then you should consider contacting current students who chose to study in that city or town. Ask them to tell you what they do on a typical weeknight or weekend in that city. Does it sound appealing? Does it sound exciting, really relaxing, or really boring? These are questions that will really help you decide on your new home away from home.
After you have been admitted to a university and established that you are going to love the city in which it is located, how do you settle in and make sure that you are going to have fun and also get settled in a timely manner? First off, most universities have a mandatory “International Student Orientation” program. This orientation will help you acclimate to your university and to meet other international students. It can be lonely for the first few days in a new city, even if that city reminds you of home or if it is filled with friendly people. Interacting with other international students as you transition to the next chapter of your life helps both you and the other international students. Social media often connects you with other students before arriving on campus, but there is nothing like the “face to face” meeting with your new friends, neighbors and classmates. The orientation allows you to learn lots of information about a city and includes issues related to safety, getting involved on campus, how to get around the city and most important, to make connections with other new students.
When you embark on your journey to the US, don’t forget your country’s flag! It makes for a great dormitory decoration and helps you to remember home. It also tells your friends that you are proud of where you come from and want to share that pride with them!
The best measure of success on any college campus is to what degree you are engaged in clubs or organizations, or how quickly you are able to connect and make friends. Students who are happy on any university campus very often are members of several groups. Even happier students find themselves surrounded by a diverse group of friends who speak a different language and come from a culture that is completely different than yours. These students can help you to appreciate where you come from but more importantly, it also helps you to understand all the wonderful things about their cultures and their traditions!
Now that you’ve arrived and settled in, what is left to do? Lots! You have to learn to balance the fun and the serious! Realizing that you and your parents made some rather big sacrifices to have you study in the US, it is important to prioritize what needs to be done academically to make sure you are successful. No other time during your life will your best friends surround you 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Study hard, play hard, and love where you have chosen to live and learn!