Every year, millions of students migrate from their home countries to benefit from higher quality education in other geographies. Moving away from home, especially the home country to another is a challenging and yet exciting time in the life of a student, especially as you adapt to your new environment and culture.
The most common challenges an international student faces are related to culture shock – feeling stress, disillusioned, disoriented, homesickness and sometimes nervousness and/or anxiety.
THESE SPECIFIC STRATEGIES MAY HELP NEW STUDENTS IN THE US COPE WITH THE ADJUSTMENT PROCESS:
Tips for new students in US to manage their finances
When it comes to the United States, a significant challenge that international students face is managing personal finances. Studying in the US can be very expensive.
Some suggestions for new students in the US to specifically deal with financial management include:
Create a budget by listing all financial resources and the income that you are sure you will receive and the list of possible expenses. Budget the spending realistically and do not underestimate costs even as you look for cheaper workable options.
Keep a journal of the expenses for the first few months to understand the expenditure cycle.
2. Part time jobs
Students may also take up part-time jobs. As per the American Students’ visa guidelines, a student is only allowed to work 20 hours a week and on campus.
The jobs available in the universities are customized as per the visa guidelines and one can opt for roles like library monitor, teaching assistant, tour guide, peer tutor, academic department assistant, campus tech support, production assistant, university book store assistant to name a few.
3. Choosing your courses wisely
Another aspect of US education is being able to choose the courses you’re going to invest your time and money in so that you’re really deriving value from the education you’re getting.
Students can pre-register for their courses by corresponding with the designated coordinator and also seek advice from senior students, alumni or professor about the various courses. Most courses have a set of compulsory subjects and modules that you have to take.
The first step is familiarizing yourself with the available courses to select the right course for yourself. For a few courses, you might have an option to choose from two or more different timings for classes.
Do not hesitate to make changes in your schedule and classes during this time and consult your department or faculty advisors for guidance.
Guidelines for a good academic life in the US
A few guidelines can be followed to lead a good academic life while studying at an American university.
Fundamental values like honesty, trust, respect and sense of responsibility are important to maintain academic integrity.
Plagiarism, cheating, providing false information, lying, forgery, unauthorized use of information technologies are unacceptable in the American lifestyle.
Student visa concerns
You will likely have an F-1 student visa with OPT options, depending on your course of study. In order to maintain the visa status, you must take a full course of study in each term and attend and pass all your classes.
You must ensure that Curricular Practical Training is an integral part of your curriculum and you also have work authorization before taking up any part-time job. Be careful to not be out of status and consult your Foreign Students Officer for specific visa related information and issues.
As an international student in the US, be well planned in advance to enjoy the cultural experience and knowledge exchange that you’re signing up for.
Welcome to the Land of Opportunities!