If you have decided to study at an American University, then be assured that you are going to have the best time of your life! It is no less than an adventure-filled ride. Especially if you are an international student, then you will experience so many new and interesting things in the course of your time over there. Yes, your University and course are of key importance to you but you cannot dismiss the fact that the life you lead outside your classroom or library will also have an impression on your life. We will discuss the life of an American Student in this blog.
Now that you are interested in knowing what “Living in the US” feels like, let us tell you that it is different for everyone and you will be surprised by what’s in store for you. With people from all over the world, the United States will give you a multilingual experience and the diversity there is very valuable for you as a student. The US has completely different environments in different parts of the country. If you decide to live in a part that resembles your home country, then you might find comfort in the company of strangers.
The United States is surely a unique and vibrant country for any student considering the influence it has had on almost all parts of the world- be it music, cinema or fashion which has resulted in them being trends later on. But the transition for some can be a bit of a challenge for some. In this blog, we will help you prepare you for some of the adventures involved in living in the United States.
Studying in the US can be a culture shock for many, more so for International students. Culture shock is basically a feeling of disorientation when you experience a new way of life. Like we mentioned before, the United States has students coming from all over the world so the way of life in the US can be very different from their home country. Don’t worry, we are here to help you deal with this situation and thereby make the most of your study in US experience better.
Study in America is a new experience for everyone and every experience will also have a new set of challenges. This means that you might feel confused, unsure and dejected at times in the US. You might feel that their way of doing things is very strange and may feel that everything has changed all of a sudden for you. Also, your family and friends are not there by your side. For this, we would suggest you to keep in touch with your family and friends back home but don’t forget to connect and identify new friends and company. These can be your fellow classmates or the people who share accommodation with you. Also, in this case, your school’s international student office can be of great help and source of support. Not only that, you can also get in touch with your relatives or friends who are already in the US for some advice and help.
Yes, it can be difficult for international students to adjust to the American culture. This can be frustrating as well but you need to understand that American culture and values are very different from your country. In order to make your transition to the life of an American student, we would suggest you familiarize yourself with their culture before your departure so you are not confused.
The best way to learn about American culture would be to participate in their traditions. Also, keep a note of the holidays and important festivals that Americans celebrate throughout the country.
Developing a Social Life in US
Apart from your college and studies, your communication with other people or your social circle is a very integral part of your stay in the United States. To make the best out of your student experience, be open and introduce yourself to fellow classmates, professors and others both on-campus and off-campus.
Your very first introduction to social life at American University is most likely to be through the “The International Student Orientation Program” which is organized by the Admissions Office or the Office of International Programs.
Another important concern for international students in the US is safety. Since you are new in the country, you might not be aware of the places and cultures of the country. Even before you arrive in the US, do not forget to do some research as you start packing your bags.
After landing also, safety should be your number one priority. Yes, your campus would be your safety net- a place where you would spend most of your time. But let us tell you that most of the campuses in the US are completely open to the public, so be cautious and alert all the time.
No matter where you live, on-campus or off-campus, do not take things casually and always be vigilant. If you are walking alone, then be mindful of your surroundings and keep note if someone is following you. Since in the US it is very common to speak to strangers through closed doors, you should make sure that doors and windows are locked at all times. Or just peep through the peephole to see who is on the other side without letting them inside.
This doesn’t mean that the US is not a safe country but these are some common things one should do, be it in any country.
America is a big country and getting around it is not that easy, especially for International students. Whether you live on or off-campus, you need a means of transport to get around easily and efficiently.
Depending on where your University is, you will find a variety of public transportation systems which include:
Trains and Subways
Yes, carrying cash is essential when you are outside your campus but that doesn’t mean you roam around with large amounts of it. We would suggest you to keep credit or debit cards, checks, and even traveler’s checks.
Once you start attending your classes, you will also have to open a bank account on or near your University campus. You can directly deposit your traveler’s checks in your bank branch for free mostly, or you would have to arrange for a wire transfer from your home bank for a fee which can be around $20 to $35. Thereafter, you can make an unlimited number of deposits and withdrawals from your bank account. Make sure that your account has sufficient funds to cover all outstanding checks because if you overdraw, then it may result in an expensive fee.
Hope our blog helped you in clearing all your doubts surrounding the life of an American student. Lastly, enjoy your time in the United States, and don’t forget to have fun.