5 Things International Students Need To Do
Jul 31, 2014 by Bryanna Davis
It's back to school time! This means marking items off your check list is top priority. Add these 5 things new international students need to do to your list!
Thank you for attending our Kickin it oldschool classroom series, I’m Bryanna Davis with InternationalStudent.com and we are bringing you a special 2 part, back to school series. With classes right around the corner we know your summer will be filled with preparation for your time as an international student, and we are going to tell you a few things you’ll need to know and do as a new international student.
1. Know where you’re going- with papers in hand.
Before you even leave your home country you need to know where you will be going once you arrive. It’s common for international students to think only about the plane ticket, but once you land, where are you going? See if the school has a pick-up program for new international students, if so, make sure you relay back to the school your flight details so they can send someone to come get you. Also keep the contact information on hand in case you need to notify them of a delay or change in plans. If your school doesn’t have a pick-up program make sure you have the school address or your temporary housing arrangement address on hand. That way once you arrive in the US you can tell a taxi cab where to go. You might not have internet access or your cell phone service available when you land so make sure you have the information you need to get where you need to go.
2. Yes- you will need a roof over your head at all times!
If you’ll be arriving early, so if you’re an athlete or just want extra time to adjust, you will also need to figure where you are staying. Make sure your dorms or apartment will be open and ready for you to move in when you arrive. If not, you will need to figure out a temporary living arrangement. While a hotel is one option, it can be pricy and might not be close to campus. If you need temporary living ask your school if they know of a host family that is willing to temporarily house you- there are sometimes individuals who volunteer an extra room for new international students in situations like these.
3. Email: It’s your lifeline.
Third, while still in your home country activate your school email address. They might send your new school email address to your personal email or through post, you will then want to activate it so you can receive updates from the school. Updates might include registration, school requirements, housing information- including who your roommate will be if living in the dorms, flight pick up details and other pieces of info you need- so it’s in your best interest to activate that and frequently check it.
4. Facebook and Twitter: Not just for play.
Fourth on the list- connect before you go. As already discussed you should have an email address that your school is keeping in touch with you through- but find a way to connect to other students. Once you receive the name of your roommate see if you can find them on Facebook or Twitter and reach out to them. Let them know you’ll be their roommate and try to establish a connection before you arrive, get to know them. You can also find your school on social and add them. One of my favorite ways for international students to connect before they arrive is through the international student office Facebook page. Most schools have one so find it and join! Once you join you’ll be able to get updates from the International student office and you can meet other international students right away! Reach out to a few on the page who appear to be currently attending your school and just say hello. You can let them know that you will be coming to the school in the upcoming semester and hopefully they will be receptive to you saying hi. If they do seem receptive to you saying hello, that’s a great person to ask for tips or advice on being an international student at your school!
5. Leave all pets at home, except your piggy bank.
Lastly, make sure your financial aid ducks are in a row. You will have already had to show proof of having enough funds to study in the US before you arrived, but now it’s time to sit down and budget to make sure the funds you have will stretch. This means coming up with a spending plan that you can stick to. Doing this is usually best within the second or third week you’re in the US. That way you have had time to go shopping and become familiar with prices of items not only in the US, but in your specific city or town. At two weeks in should have a pretty good idea of the cost of items you use, which means you can make a realistic budget that you can stick to.
Hopefully these five items will help you as a new international student. It’s not an easy task to travel to a new country, adjust, then pursue your educational career- but it’s a journey that is worth it and one you can quickly adjust to if you try!
If you thought this video was helpful make sure you catch part 2 of the series- 5 things new international students should not do.