How to Make an Easy Transition into American College Life
The number of foreign students studying in the US has grown steadily over the years, making up 6% of college students enrolled in US colleges and universities. But while more and more international students are coming to the US, the transition into American college life can be challenging for some. Different cultural customs, lifestyle, and living arrangements can make the first year of college a little tougher to navigate for an international student.
If you’re an international student studying in the US this fall, here are some tips on how to make the move as smooth as possible!
Get to Know Your Roommates
In the month or two before the semester starts, you’ll most likely get information on who your roommate(s) will be. While many international universities have single room dormitories for students, most American colleges and universities have shared dorm rooms with anywhere from two roommates to four. Through Facebook, Skype, and email, you can get to know your roommate a little better before arriving on campus. Chances are they’re eager to meet you, too!
Reach out and set up a time to talk to one another about yourself, your habits, expectations for the school year, and what you like to do in your free time. Getting to know who you’ll be living with before arriving will make the transition into dorm life much easier come fall.
Find Ways To Get Involved On Campus
Another way to easily transition into American college life is to dive right into it! Over the summer, research other clubs and organizations you may want to get involved in. Look for volunteer opportunities or other activities that match your interests. Getting involved in campus life is a great way to meet new people, stay busy, and find our own niche in the community.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help When You Need It
You can’t always figure out everything on your own, so if there’s something you’re struggling with, whether it’s coursework, roommate problems, or just figuring out where your place on campus is, don’t be afraid to ask!
Visit your school’s International Student Center your first day on campus to become familiar with those who work there and what support services they offer to international students. Many international student centers offer lounges or meeting spaces for foreign students to relax, catch up on work, or talk to someone about the transition into college life in the US.
Many schools also offer international students special events or seminars to get to know one another along with the school’s culture. There are also advisors and professors there to offer academic and emotional support in order to make your first year as easy as possible!
While college life in the US may be completely different (or exactly the same!) to what you’re used to, it’s important to remember that college is an experience that you must embrace! It may not be perfect at first, but if you keep an open mind, focus on your academics, and work to find your niche in the school’s community, your next four years will be some of the best!