By on January 27th, 2014
How to Adapt to the New School
It takes time for an international student to feel at ease in a new place. Change is part of the adventure of traveling and studying ESL abroad. Students from overseas have the chance to make new discoveries in the U.S
The New Adventure
You can learn more than just English and coursework. You can also learn about the new culture and relationships, the basics of education, language, social cues, commerce, friendships, recreations like sports, and how people think will not the same as back home. It’s different. Living situations will also differ from what is familiar, especially for the international homestay student.
Here are some tips to help you adapt to a new school setting:
1. Read About the Country in Advance
Reading about your destination before you arrive helps international students to understand their host country. A new place is different than how it appears on TV or in your mind. Travel guides, books in your own language, plus American newspapers, magazines , news shows in English all provide a fresh view.
2. Plan to Learn
You will learn more than academics and language. You will learn about people’s customs and lifestyle. As an international homestay student, you first learn when you need to buy something. Things like: prices and types of food, currency, coin change, eating out, store etiquette, buying books and supplies, clothing sizes, etc. are learned quickly. You will learn locations by using a campus map. Be ready to learn from every situation and opportunity.
3. Work through the Red Tape.
In America, “red tape” means all the administrative processes that deal with paperwork: college applications, driver license, visas, medical forms, scholarships, and housing requests if you are looking for an apartment, dorm or homestay host family, etc. Often the on-campus International Student Center can help you figure out what you may not understand. Most colleges offer volunteer help or classes to visiting students.
4. Make New Friends, Fast.
This can happen as soon as you board the plane to travel. Often, you will meet other students going to the same school abroad as you, or who live in the same town. Most schools have clubs, organizations, and cultural centers based on a home country or ethnic origin. You will have the advantage of making friends who speak your same language. These friends may have already settled into the new place and can help you with tips on how to adapt. You’ll also enjoy making new friends who are local and know even more about the school, area, and nation. For international students lucky enough to join a homestay program, you will have an American host family who can help you out.
It’s the best way to meet people, discover new places and explore new horizons. These are just a few tips on how you can adapt to a new school. We can give you other ideas and people’s experiences when you contact our office to learn about housing choices.