Are you an International Student coming to study in the US for the first time?
The first few days in the US can be daunting and lonely, especially if you don’t have any friends here and it is your first time in the US. Don’t worry though, you get used to the whole ‘college scene in USA’ pretty quickly. Don’t hesitate to stop a fellow student and introduce yourself. For all, you know that person may be looking for a friend like you.
Most universities are fairly diverse and have a large population of international students. Don’t be surprised to find students from your own country. The Foreign Students Office (or it may have a slightly different name, but you will figure it out) should be of great help. Also, you should get in touch with the student organization from your own country. More than likely, it exists!
Once school begins, you will get busy. Studying in the US is fun and rewarding, provided you pay attention to the task at hand. The intensity of the course work will be felt immediately. If the university has a quarter system then the pace appears to be faster as everything gets crammed into one quarter. The flip side is that the course content will be less than in a semester-based system.
You will have a wealth of resource available to you – libraries (yes there are multiple in many colleges), study groups, academic resources like tutoring services, office hours with professors etc. When you register for the first time as a freshman, you will understand the whole process.
Pay attention because you will be using this process throughout your remaining years. The one thing which may surprise you is the wide variety of courses to choose from.
You will be taking a range of “core” courses – courses that are required regardless of your major, in the first two to four semesters.
In some schools, you will be required to choose a major within the first 18 months. As you complete your core requirements, you will start focusing on taking courses related to the major.
You will also have a choice to take many fun electives – schools offer many courses to make learning not only fun but broaden your horizon. Take your course work seriously.
However, take the time to have fun. There will be activities organized by the school as well as stuff you want to do with your friends. The four years will fly by really quickly.
Author: John Shapiro
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