Study in the US? Be Ready for the Challenges
Living in a new place is always exciting as well as challenging, including for students. When you become foreign students in the United States for example, there will be a lot of new things you are going to find there, such as the culture, people, food, and also the university. As a big and developed country, the United States has its own educational system that may be different from your home countries. That is the reason why foreign students must prepare themselves to face the differences.
Talking about university life in the United States, one of the challenges you are going to face is the classroom environment. Sure you will meet with many friends from the US or other countries here and as long as you can get along with them, there will be no problem. But, do you know that you have to do more than that to survive in the class? You know, the US is well-known for its freedom and independence so they are exactly the things you have to have. When you study in your home country, probably the professor gives explanations all the time and asks you questions once in a while. Differently, as foreign students in the US you have to be more independent and out-spoken to gain more knowledge and meet the expectation of your professor. Reading and group discussion will be your daily activities during your study, so it is better to be ready before you go to the class.
Besides the classroom habit, there are some more challenges you have to deal with as a part of foreign students’ life in the United States. Do not be afraid, take them as opportunities to improve yourself:
The next challenge during your adventure in the United States is culture shock. Actually, this is a normal condition that foreign students who study abroad feel disoriented because everything is completely new for them. You live in a different neighborhood, meet with many different people with different culture, eat different food, and so on. Though it is common, you have to be able to deal with it so you can be an independent student there.
Whenever you find the symptoms of culture shock within yourself, like feeling lonely, angry, inferior, having insomnia and allergies, get some support from your family in your home country and your friends in the US, like you roommates. You can also join a community that suits you in your campus to make you forget the feeling of homesick.
In your home country, going somewhere on foot is probably fine because the distance from one place to another is short. However, the United States is different, especially if you live in a big city. There are some options of transportation you can choose to go the campus or any other places, such as bicycles, buses, taxis, trains, and subways. If you want to buy or rent a car, it will be fine too, but make sure you know the regulation in the area.
Bicycles are nice transportation for you if the distance of your destinations is not too long. While riding a bicycle, you can enjoy the surrounding as well. Meanwhile, if the places you visit are just far, take public transportation as the option and do not forget to take notes the schedule of the buses, trains, and subways.
Different place has different currency, so as foreign students, you have to understand it very well. You may be confused with the currency and having no idea where to change your money can make your situation worse. This is why, before your coming to the United States, it is better for you to browse where to change your money and how the currency works: a penny equals to 0.01 dollars or one cent, nickel equals to 0.05 dollars of five cent, and so on.
You will also learn about the price of goods; how much is cheap for a pizza and how much is expensive. It may take a few days for you to accustom yourself with this, but with the help from your US friends and family, it can be easier. So, be happy with your life in the US!
Links to some useful articles that will be great read for you: