As much as our former clients, and staff would agree that going out to the USA on a Sports Scholarship was the best decision they have ever made, there's no denying that you will face challenges as a new international student. Below we've put together a list of some of the challenges you may face and ways to overcome them.
Time Management Unlike at school, you can't always rely on University or Collge lecturers to remind you when coursework is due. When you become a college student, you will be treated by your lecturers as an adult and you'll be expected to be responsible for your own time management. We recommend getting some form of diary or calendar which allows you to set reminders for when coursework is due in so that you never forget. We covered a post recently about handy apps for students so take a look as some might help you better organise your student life!
Budgeting For a lot of college students, starting college and living away from home will be the first time they will be solely responsible for their own finances. Keeping within your budget is very important, so you will need to learn to cook, socialise and shop cheaply. If you are finding it difficult to stay on target each month, keep a reciept for everything you buy in a week/month, you will soon see where you can cut down on your spending.
Coursework The style of academic writing that you will be expected to produce in college will likely differ from what you may have become used to at school. If you find that you need some guidance with this, check to see whether your college provides support, most commonly a drop in center, where you can show experienced people your coursework and they can advise you about whether you are on the right track or not. In addition, reading through student papers and previous coursework online will let you know what you should be aiming to achieve.
Culture Shock The United States is often called a melting pot, mixing people from cultures all around the world. Still, American culture is distinctive, and might be different from your own. "I think I was too hardened to the culture difference. I just rejected it, telling myself, 'No, there's no culture difference,'" says Providence College student Bocharova. Instead, "Accept that there is a culture difference, and accept that it is OK," Ukranian student, Vuk Bojovic, recommends. No matter what obstacles you're facing at college, remember that you're not alone and you don't have to deal with them on your own. College campuses provide a vast array of resources to students, because the transition can be tricky for anyone. - US News
Homesickness Studying in another country will undoubtedly allow you to experience an array of things that you wouldn't be able to at home, but there's no denying that homesickness can be a downside of living the dream. There are a whole host of things you can do to combat homesickness, and everyone's different. For advice, if you are feeling homesick or are worried that it may happen to you, take a look at our previous post -Top Ten Ways to curb Homesickness.
Do you have any concerns about any challenges you may face as an international student? Put your questions to Agony Al and your question could feature on our blog to help others like you!