Life is an adventure and going to college is one of the most exciting yet exhausting experiences for many people, especially international students. When I first came to America, I didn’t even know how to cross the street properly! After a year of studying and adjusting, here is my share that can help you become more easily involved in American life.
Manage Personal Identification
Before going to any new country, be sure to bring all copies of your documents. These documents are essential records for your arrival and keep you safe and legally in a new nation. At first, I was overwhelmed with numerous documents, such as an F-1 visa, I-20, I-94, passport, etc. I have to work with my school counselor to understand all the policies and their use. Also, I have to read and sign a lot of papers to attend. I recommend that you have a separate worksheet that can keep all of your documentation in one place. Try using sticky notes or tabs to mark each category so you know where to take them in the future.
Bank Account Opening / Driver’s License / Ssn
Having your bank account is a must when you arrive anywhere new. Since different countries have their own monetary system, you need to make sure that you can legally use your money for any payment in that country. Typically, in orientation, many universities have connected with local banks, which can help you open your account. Do it fast as you have to pay for your tuition and other items necessary for your livelihood.
In the first two weeks, try to prepare for the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) driving test. Every state in the US has the manual on their website, which includes everything you need to know for the written test. You should take a look at it and do some practice tests online. Even if you don’t have a car, you can get a “learner’s permit” card or a “driver’s license” card that helps you get an SSN (social security number) when you have jobs on campus or anywhere in the city. USA
Never stop practicing your English. For most international students, English is not their first language. They will fight in daily conversations with foreign people in the first few weeks. To avoid misunderstandings or awkward conversations, you need to improve your English communication skills every day. You can watch American TV shows, learn by listening to new vocabulary, and try speaking with native speakers. You will feel embarrassed or stressed at first, but after months of speaking, you will speak more fluently and listen more clearly. Set your goal that everyone can understand your speech and that you can understand others. Communication is an unavoidable activity in daily life, so make sure you can communicate properly. If you find it difficult to speak fluently, You can ask your friends for help or even sign up for an ESL class. Be resilient, because “practice makes perfect.”
When you first arrive in a new environment, you will feel lonely and lonely. To reduce loneliness, you need to be open-minded and more socially active. Meeting new friends will solve this problem. Don’t limit yourself to just having friends from your country though, try hanging out with other international newbies. One of the most efficient ways to adjust to the American way of life and learn a new culture is to have as many American friends as possible. It will not only enhance your current accent but also fulfill your mindset about different traditions. Also, you can correct some of your prejudices or stereotypes about some groups of people. Lastly, you may find a volunteer position or a useful job in your social relationships, so try to take advantage of that advantage.
Plan Your Career
College is expensive. Before attending any college, make sure you have a solid plan for your career path. As an international student, you have to pay more than local students, so carefully map out your academic path. You can get some advice from your parents, acquaintances, or people in the study course that interests you. They will allow you to see a vivid view of the specialty of your choice. At school, you should see your academic advisor monthly for the latest updates on their courses and workshop events. The time you spend at the university depends mainly on your decision. Always check that you are on the right track. In general, always look for opportunities to serve the community in your field of interest. In the USA., It is essential to gain experience from your related studies and spread your knowledge to help others. It shows that you have a passionate attitude towards what you have learned.