The US is home to several international students. It attracts numerous students worldwide due to high-quality education, plentiful opportunities, multicultural surroundings, and a unique curriculum. Additionally, it has a world-class support system for international students. However, before settling in the country, you may face various challenges like language barriers, financial crises, cultural differences, homesickness, etc.
The good thing is that if you plan yourself well, you can overcome all those challenges and enjoy your stay from the first to the last day. That said, here are eight tips on how to survive in the USA as an international student:
1. Join University Bridge Pathway Program
Joining an undergraduate pathway program in USA is one of the best ways to survive as an international student. It has numerous advantages, and one of the most significant benefits is that it enables you to boost your language skills. Pathway programs allow you to learn English while studying, thus strengthening your English skills. Primarily, these programs emphasize the academic language you’ll use in your classes.
Furthermore, a pathway program allows you to adjust to the US culture. It enables you to learn with other international students as you adapt to the new culture.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Various Cultures
Undoubtedly, the US has a wide range of cultures, and most international students find it challenging to learn and adjust to them. Below are some tips that can help you handle culture shock:
- Learn the US social norms
- Try out local food
- Examine your local area
- Be open and embrace diversity
- Engage in small talks
- Try out new things
It enables you to become more familiar with various cultures and makes you feel more comfortable.
3. Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
Finding the best accommodation is one of the most critical things abroad, as this will be your new home. However, accommodation can be expensive in the US compared to most countries. Therefore, be careful to select affordable houses. Also, you may find more cost-friendly homes that can be far away from your school. For this reason, research before migrating and compare different price ranges and the benefits and shortcomings of living in a particular area to find affordable accommodation that suits your budget.
4. Enroll Into A Club Or Society
Joining clubs and societies is one of the most remarkable ways of connecting with other students with the same interests as you outside the classroom. It also enables you to develop a sense of belonging and new skills that the class may not teach you. Most universities in the US provide a wide array of clubs and societies you can register for. You can join sports clubs, drama, hospitality, debate, music, etc. It enables you to acclimate to American culture seamlessly.
5. Create A Budget And Stick To It
One of the most significant challenges international students face in the US is that associated with finance. Most things here can be much more expensive than in most countries. For example, books and food can be indeed costly. Therefore, before leaving home, contact your school and make an estimated budget.
To ensure you don’t run out of cash, stick to your budget. In the first days of your arrival, it may be challenging to get a job. Therefore, knowing how to manage your finances is very vital. Develop a list of the amount of money you’ll afford to spend daily to avoid paying extra cash and, in the end, draining your account.
6. Consider Getting A Health Insurance Cover
Taking care of your health while abroad is essential. Healthcare expenses in the US can be higher than in your home country. Getting health insurance coverage enables you to prevent financial problems of sudden medical costs. Moreover, it lets you access quick and appropriate medical attention whenever you become sick.
Some colleges and universities in the US may offer insurance coverage and include the cost to your tuition bill. Therefore, ensure you confirm that before taking another cover from an insurance company.
7. Keep In Touch With International Student Body
Another crucial tip for surviving in the US is to keep in touch with the international student body. They can offer you support and make your transition process much simpler. They can help you understand the various cultures, hook you up with like-minded people, or train you to adapt to the US surroundings and culture as you familiarize yourself with other learners.
Studying abroad is one of the best decisions you can make. It allows you to travel and explore exciting and distant places, make new friends, and learn valuable knowledge. However, adapting to new environments and being far from your loved ones can sometimes be challenging. Fortunately, there are various things you can do to survive as an international student in the US. Consider involving a bridge advisor and make your learning process much more manageable.