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Navigating your first days as an international student

As an international student, the process of applying to study overseas is now over and the day that you have been waiting for is finally here. You arrived abroad in your new country and after months of applications and tests and resumes you are standing in your new campus. So now what? The hard part of applying and getting accepted and choosing your university is over. There are no more plane tickets to buy or scholarships to apply for. It is finally time to settle down in your new home and start your study abroad experience.


The very first thing you need to do is become familiar with your campus. Get a map and find where your dorms are or where your off-campus housing is, where the dining halls are, and where your classrooms are. Grow accustomed to the area and do not be afraid to ask for directions. Everyone gets lost on their first day! Go around and try the dining hall food and explore the empty classrooms that you will soon spend many hours in.

It is very important to settle into your dorm or apartment as quickly as possible. Unpack everything from your suitcase and fold your clothes into the drawers. Make yourself at home because this will be your new home for a while. It is very common for Americans to put a lot of posters and pictures on their wall so if you want you can also decorate your room to your personal taste. Meet your new roommate and organize your room however you want.


Go meet new people! You’re finally in a new country so go and meet the people and see how they are both different and similar to you. On the first day, everyone is very friendly because everyone wants to meet some new friends - so go and be social. The sooner you make friends the easier life will get at university because now you have someone to walk to class with, eat dinner with, join a sports team with, and study with. More than 50% of international students are still in contact with their friends from the U.S even after their studies ended. Universities also use social media and email in order to update students on events so make sure your social media and email accounts are up to date in order to stay in touch with friends and be connected and involved with what the university does. Your university may have an app to download which will be helpful. Also, if you can, download all the social media and email apps on your phone so you receive the notifications on a daily basis.  
Have fun and explore on the first day but don’t be fooled! Classes are right around the corner so make sure you have everything you need such as a computer, pencils, a notebook and a calculator which can be bought at the campus bookstore. Read the syllabus for all the classes you are taking so you can be prepared on the first day and have everything you need. Professors really like students who read the syllabus in advance.
Need more help with planning your studies, internships and the steps following graduation?


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