Proceeding to college is by no means a huge change and a major challenge for most students, let alone choosing a college in a foreign country. International students tent to worry a lot about their new academic life in U.S. , however there is absolutely no need to experience panic attacks, because almost every college has got students both physical and academic needs well taken care of. In this article, we have gathered the most widely spread types of assistance and support typically provided by U.S. colleges to their freshmen international students. After reading this article, you can easily write a letter to colleges that you are most interested in asking whether they offer these services.
- International student advisers: The major thing that you should do upon arrival to campus is to go straight to the student service office. What they do is assign all freshmen with a dedicated adviser that will always be able to help, guide and assist. There are a whole bunch of issues that you might face when being abroad and this advisor is predicated to help you with any of them, such as maintaining your legal immigration status, take care of your visa-related issues, similar to the off-campus employment, bank deposits, changing of the major, different travelling documentation and much more. Also, in case you consider what exactly that international student service can do for you, you can pay a personal visit to their office or give them a call.
- A major adviser: this type of advisers is designed to help international students to create an outline of the academic plan for the entire year. It assists in doing several very crucial things, such as acknowledging your major, signing up for classes that you are personally interested in or accessing a plan for the graduation. Another major thing that these advisers do is provide a worthwhile guidance aimed on assisting you to show a full potential of yours. It is rather important to pay a visit to your major adviser at least once every semester to guarantee that you are always in your best shape.
- Mentors among students: in numerous colleges, newly arriving freshmen are entrusted to a student from higher courses, so-called mentor. This method is also practiced by many schools, that encourage international students to get paired with mentors from upper classes. All-in-all this is a rather good idea, because you get assistance from a person that has literally been in your shoes. These mentors usually start with helping their trainees with some basic stuff, like arranging English studying classes, grocery-shopping and engaging a freshmen into making new friends from the start.
- Academic assistance center: have doubts about your major? Don’t worry, because an academic assistance center from your college is capable of helping you in finding one. Furthermore, you can get essential learning tips and manage to improve studying practices right here. A thing to start with here would be to schedule a personal appointment for yourself with your dedicated academic center in order to begin an academic life the right way.
- International student council: There are numerous social organizations at college created and designed for students with different interests. A typical college by no means has at least a single club that is designed specifically for international students. Here students gather in order to share and spread out their cultures by organizing numerous cultural festivals. If you are lucky, there might even be a separate club for students from your home country, which is great, because it could give you a number of friends with the same challenges, making them much easier to overcome. You should check all available student activity boards to find out about these councils and clubs.
- Access to a Gym: You must have heard of freshman 15, which is the weight in pounds that international students often gain in their first year of studying in college. I personally was completely confident not to gain this weigh, assuming I heard this statement at the very beginning of my first year, however, I did learn this lesson. Colleges and schools do have gyms on their territories for a reason. Find time to attend it regularly to keep yourself fit and you will avoid many mistakes that students typical come upon. Being a high achiever is rather important, but don’t risk your health on the way, assuming that the gym is free to attend.
- Plans of Meal: Going grocery shopping not having a car is not the most pleasant task, but this is another challenge that you will need to overcome while being an international student. Alternatively, you can use one of the widely offered meal plans, they certainly save your time and let the weight of worrying about grocery shopping off your shoulders. You should consult the dining service of your particular college in order to know about the availability of on-campus dining.
- Teaching assistants: It is a matter of vital importance to become good friends with your teaching assistants, in case your particular college or university has them available. The thing is that they usually know all your professors very well. They are usually well aware of the manner in which certain professors compose exams and are very possible to be the ones grading your papers. Should you have any difficulties or struggle with anything, do not hesitate to contact teaching assistants – this is the main reason why they are there.
- Classes for International Students: This is a rather important and handy thing because these classes that are offered by some colleges and universities are specifically designed to help international students to adopt themselves to American lifestyle. Main topics on these classes concern American culture along with peculiarities of studying in U.S. colleges. These classes are usually held by professors from around the globe that walked through loopholes to adopt to U.S. education system themselves.
- Employment opportunities within the campus: this option opens huge opportunities for student that have tight budgets, allowing them to support themselves financially, not worrying about different money-transfer restrictions. You can learn more about these opportunities in your local the on-campus career center.
Attending college in a foreign country is a priceless experience that you should embrace with open arms and appreciate all its difficulties and priceless advantages.