If you are an international student, you are probably already familiar with your International student office on your campus. Your counselors there will get you acclimated with everything from your class schedules to fellow international students. However, there are some easy tips and campus resources you should know about when arriving on campus.
The writing center
As an international student, if your biggest challenge being in a new place is language you should seek out the writing center. When I studied in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, I had to have a special English speaking tutor with me at all times. These tutors were from the university’s writing center and their jobs were to help me be proficient in completing my assignments in the native spoken language. It’s like a language tutor that the university gives you for free!
Get involved in school
I know it may seem very intimidating to make new friends in a foreign country, but getting involved might help. Get the campus calendar, join the international clubs, and talk to people in your classes. Universities make it a priority to get their students involved and that’s something you should take advantage of.right away!
Talk to your professors
This is a good way to make sure your professor knows who you are and the extra help you may need. Professors are usually very understanding about international student’s situation and it would you good to get your face familiar for them.
Use college meal plans
Grocery shopping is hard when you don’t have a car and that happens to many international students. Meal plans are available in most colleges, and they are a good option if you don’t want to worry about grocery shopping or cooking. Check with your college’s dining service to learn more about the available on-campus dining options.
Teaching assistants, also referred to as TAs, should become your best friends in your classes, if your university has them. They know your professors very well. They know how the professors write the exams, and they may even be the ones who grade your exams. Talk to the TAs if you struggle in class. They are there to help you.
International student classes
Some colleges offer classes or class sessions especially for international students to help them adapt to the U.S. college life. These classes teach about American cultures and college writing style, often by professors who are also from a different country or are really familiar with different cultures. At my college, there’s an American Heritage class session that is especially for international students.
For international students who wish to earn some extra money to support themselves without worrying too much about visa restrictions, the on-campus career center would be a good place to visit. I have worked at several on-campus jobs and earned enough to pay my bills.
Going to college is exciting yet worrying. We have been there. I worried a lot before coming to the States, but I quickly adapted to the U.S. college life with different help from the school. It will be a wonderful learning and growing experience.