By on November 17th, 2014
As a foreign exchange student with the chance to live and study in the United States, you are no doubt very excited. However, reality is more than likely going to set in the second you step off the plane and that’s completely normal. In order to make the transition into American life much easier, there are some tips for international students visiting the U.S.
Learn English: Slang and All
An international student might have a working grasp of the English language, but slang terms are another story. Americans are not prone to speaking like a written novel, they use a lot of slang phrases and terms, particularly among the youth. If a student hears a phrase that makes no sense, they should speak up and not be afraid to ask what it means.
Get Involved with Extracurricular Activities
Sports are a very vital and important part of college life for many American students. Students root for their favorite college team and football (Americanized football, not to be confused with the European version) is a way of life! Getting involved in college sports will allow an international student to make friends and experience genuine American culture at its best!
When a student attends classes at college, it is a good way to make some new friends. Group projects and study groups are a good way for an international student to meet new people and learn English at the same time. It’s a good idea for a student to explore their interests and find a relevant group on campus to join.
Keep Up with the Current Trends
A great way to strike up conversations with other students is for the exchange student to keep up with local sports and current topics of local interest. A student can use their free time to read magazines, watch the local news and learn things other young people are interested in. Not only will it help develop a student’s English speaking skills, but it will also provide an authentic lesson in American culture and provide for great conversation starters.
Become Friends with Other Exchange Students
If you are an international student and this is not your first time visiting the United States, you should seek out other exchange students at your college and become friends with them. Sometimes, exchange students are grouped together in the classroom or on a special project, which provides even more of an opportunity for interaction. Broadening your social circle is a great way to make constructive use of your time and lets you help other exchange students adjust to living in a new country.
Don’t Get Discouraged
No matter who you or what country you are from, use your time in the U.S. and make the most of your educational experience. Don’t let other students intimidate you and don’t become discouraged if you have a language barrier to overcome. You will find your fellow students are probably more than happy to help you fit in and they will be interested in finding out about your homeland.
Enjoy Your Time Here
Coming to the U.S. can be an exciting and overwhelming time in the life of an international student. A person will be out of their element, away from their home and everything they know, which can feel a bit frightening. Culture shock and homesickness are very common when an exchange student is in the process of adjusting to American life, so it is something to be expected. By having a strong support network, branching out and making new friends and joining in social activities, many students have found living in the United States to be interesting and enjoyable.
If you wish to read more information about the foreign exchange opportunities available in America, please visit www.ushstudent.com.