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How To Prepare For University Life In The USA

August 28, 2016

Moving to a new country is full of new challenges for any international student, but for those wishing to study in the USA the culture shock can be quite surprising…if you’re not prepared for it. However, thanks to the mass appeal of American food and culture around the world, it’s relatively easy to become acquainted with student life in the USA before you make the trip. Here are some ideas for how you might prepare for university life in the USA.\r\n \r\n

Research your chosen city or state

\r\nFind out what the local cuisine is, where to buy cheap food, what transport is available and what kind of area you’ll be living in. But don’t limit this research to articles and tourism guides, as there’s plenty more information to be found on student internet message boards and forums for local culture. You could even spend an hour travelling your new city virtually using Google Street View, and fall in love with your new home before you even arrive.\r\n \r\n

Make some friends before you arrive

\r\nThere will be plenty of other people in the same situation as you, so make contact with American students on your course or fellow international students studying in the same city. That way you’ll have someone to meet up with upon your arrival, making your new life seem a little less lonely.\r\n \r\n

Get there early

\r\nArriving at your chosen city in good time allows you to become relaxed and acquainted with the city well before your course starts. Also, Freshman orientation offers a valuable opportunity to meet your new classmates and find out about the university. Do not miss this important event!\r\n \r\n

Prepare to speak up

\r\nClass discussions often contribute towards your final grades in the USA, so make sure you are ready to voice your opinion and that you are attempting to improve your English fluency all the time. \r\n \r\n

Immerse yourself in American culture

\r\nBy reading American books, watching American TV shows and listening to American music you’ll give yourself a taste of American life, and this will also help with your English language fluency.\r\n \r\n

Think about your course

\r\nMany American institutions allow students to apply without declaring their major subject, so make sure you are at least considering which course you might want to study after your freshman year. If you know the course you wish to study, find out where your main campus facilities are located, and which section of the library is relevant to your subject.\r\n \r\n

Plan your weeks

\r\nYou may not have a class timetable yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start making plans. Look up local concerts and cultural events to see if there is anything you’d like to attend, sign up for extracurricular activities at the university, or just make plans to meet up with new classmates, and give yourself something to look forward to in your first few weeks.\r\n \r\n

Prepare a meal plan

\r\nBy researching what local produce is on offer you can plan the meals you’ll be eating in your new country. You might want to sample a few American dishes before you leave for university, or you could simply create cheaper Americanised versions of your home country’s comfort food using ingredients you’ll find in the USA.\r\n \r\n

Confirm your Visa

\r\nEnsuring you have a USA study visa is essential, as the stress of trying to fix any visa problems will ruin your plans and potentially put your studies in jeopardy. Inquire at your local consulate or embassy if you need to, and make sure any plans to work in the USA have been signed off with the appropriate visa for your situation.\r\n \r\nFor more information about preparing or applying to study in the USA, make sure you speak to one of our expert advisers today.\r\n \r\n\r\n