- How you should prepare before you come to the U.S.
- Learn the basics of the English language in your country to avoid difficulties.
- Collect some information about the city.
- What should you do when arriving to the U.S?
- Enter an ESL program to improve your skills.
- Be outgoing and get involved with other international people who also learn the language.
- Interact with native speakers and practice the language.
- Assign a conversation partner.
- Attend a university lectures and see to adapt to the academic environment.
"Culture is central to the experience of living overseas". Although Robert Kohls, in his book Survival Kit for Overseas Living (4th ed. 2001), wrote, that no matter how well the international students are prepared before their arrival, they will experience any kind of cultural shock .
This paper will cover the issue, which international students are dealing with, when come to the United States. I will also suggest some possible solutions on the most common problems, which international students face. I will also try to provide my audience with some tips, which will help them to adapt to this country and communicate with people, not from their home countries only. Among all that, the benefits of communicating with people from other countries will be described.
How you should prepare before you come to the U.S.
There are several things that need to be done before arriving to the US, but two main, which will be described in this paragraph, are the importance of basic English knowledge before arriving to the US and the importance of acknowledgment of the city, you are going to stay in.
Learn the basics of the English language in your country to avoid difficulties.
There is no doubt that each and every student that wants to go to the US, in order to continue their studying there, has to have at least basic knowledge of English.
- Firstly, because it will shorten the adaptation period and in that way you will not learn the language from the beginning, but will gain more knowledge on it, which will allow you to improve your English level.
- Secondly, even limited English knowledge will help you to communicate with native speakers, it will be easier to find help if needed, to explain your point of view or to express you physical or mental state, in case of emergency.
- Thirdly, much easier for you will be to find friends and to improve the English level, if you already have the knowledge of it. Language – is the main way of communicating and interacting between people, that is why it is better to have even limited English knowledge than to have none.
Collect some information about the city.
This step is more than important. When leaving your home country, you have to understand that you will be living in a completely unknown place, so your task before living is to gain as much information as possible:
- You should learn the main historical events of the city, its origin and its name origin, learn about historical figures that were born in that city.
- You can also look for feedbacks and comments on the Internet, especially you should pay attention to the comments about the people – remember, you will be living with them.
- And, of course, it is important to know as many as possible of the tourist attractions that are located in the city, in order to have a look at them within few weeks you are in the US.
- More than important is to know which banks departments will you have in that city, in order to orient which possibilities for bank transfer do you have, if needed of course. In general, you will have to know as much about this city, as you can. That way you will adapt shortly and feel yourself at home earlier.
What should you do when arriving to the U.S?
When all of the steps of the first level are completed, we can proceed and move to the second level. In this passage I will cover the after-arrival period and importance of some key points in it.
There is no general scheme of what should be done on the post-arrival period, but I will represent the main issue that international student face after arrival and will suggest possible solutions for them.
- First of all students are recommend to buy international phone cards as a ‘must-have' because talking to your family will help you to deal with all the problems.
Enter an ESL program to improve your skills.
As I mentioned earlier, knowledge of English language is important, because, firs of all, the country’s state language is English and it is also a working language on the whole territory of the US. The main of purpose of each studying course is to help you in English learning, so this should be your main goal when heading for US – improve the existing English level and ESL program will help you to do that, because it was created especially for international students. It also important to succeed in English in order to complete the course of studying in the university. Moreover, Unites States offer quite a big choice of colleges that have this program, so it is a wonderful opportunity to travel and to study.
Be outgoing and get involved with other international people who also learn the language.
Although you feel comfortable while speaking your language and hanging out with friends from your country, try to involve Americans in your activities and discussions. Speak English with all the students and if they are around, and avoid building an "special club" of your group.
United States is beautiful country and provides an outstanding proposal for international students to communicate not only with Native Americans, but with people all over the world. This is a chance to get familiar with a lot of cultures and traditions. It will be easy, because they will also be in the process of learning English, so you will communicate in simple English.
- It is important to be initiative and active in the process of communication, because your language level depends on it, because that is the best way to find friends and it will help to adapt you to new community and new country. The more active you are, the more interesting your life will become.
- The unique chance for studying abroad should be fully used, because you never know when you will have the next chance to do that.
- The reason why you should communicate with people not from your country – it will exclude the possibility of communicating on your mother tongue. That way, you will have no other choice that to communicate in English and practice your communication skills.
As an international student you might feel that you couldn’t really be a part of any of the communities—what you left behind is still with you.
Interact with native speakers and practice the language.
What can be better, than to study the language with and among the native speakers? The opportunity to do that should never be wasted. The language you will learn among the native speakers is not the one you have studied at school and that academic, as you have read in books. In is lively, it is full of dialogs and slang words, which make it more simple and more interesting. Each slang word, each dialog has a history behind that.
- Being an international student in the United States is a wonderful opportunity to learn the language from the different sides and to see it in the way the native speakers do.
- The best part of learning English in US – you may never be afraid to talk with Americans. They are more than welcome to help you, to teach you and to open some secrets of their mother tongue.
Assign a conversation partner.
Having a chance to explore the US is great, but having a chance to explore it with a partner is even better. Each country has two sides – the way the tourists see it and the way the citizens see it.
- If you want to see the real US, if you want to visit the places, you would never had a chance to visit on the standard tourist rout, you should definitely use and opportunity to have a partner.
- Not even mentioning that, again, communicating with a native speaker will help you to improve your English, to gain deep knowledge about US itself and its culture, people, mentality.
- Also having a partner will help you to become more confident in your knowledge and in your communicating skills.
Attend a university lectures and see to adapt to the academic environment.
Among the importance of improving your every-day English, it is more that important to constantly improve your academic level. The way the lectures are held in the US may differ from how they are held in your home country, but in order to complete all your courses successfully you will have to adapt to it in a very short period of time. That is why you should not be afraid to re-ask about confusing moments, to ask for help both international and American students. In your colleges you probably had different system of grading.
For students like Vuk Bojovic, who's studying at Augustana College in Illinois, doing research and citing sources in written assignments can be an especially tough challenge. Bojovic in his speech tells that when he first came he had a lot of problems with research papers, because in Serbia he had never done them before. It took a while for him to get acknowledged with the structure of paper, academic resources and citations. With his great efforts and with the help of people from Reading-Writing Centre, he succeeded to get a good grade.
If you're having problems with writing a paper, you can either use the help of your school writing center or you may find free tutoring and help.(Borjas, 2005)
Since multiculturalism and global thinking are such important aspects of society and participating in programs for studying abroad and international partnership programs become more popular, this paper covers the main issue that each international student face when studying abroad. Because of this, international administrators and educators need to become aware of both international and domestic laws. Professionals working in the field of student affairs need to understand this complicated issue from all possible viewpoints; the process the international student goes through to obtain a student visa, the concerns of the government regarding terrorism and illegal aliens, and most importantly, the needs of the international students once they are on campus.
Studying in another country is a wonderful opportunity for each international student. Even though you face a lot of troubles and concerns, the experience you receive is worth of all the efforts and powers that were put to finish the course. This is a unique experience, that may bring together a lot of different people, countries, cultures and make them living their best moments together. This is an experience that will be the most valuable in your professional life and in broadcasting your mind.
Robert, L.. Survival Kit for Overseas Living. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 3/28/2001.
Borjas, G. (2002, June 25). Press Conference Speech. Center for Immigration Foreign Students Immigration Program. Washington, DC. Web. November, 11.
“6 Challenges for International Students in College.” US News&World Report. 28 Aug. 2012.<http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/08/28/6-challenges-for-international-students-in-college. Web>.November 11
“The Troubling Issues Facing International Students Today.” ColoradoStateUniversity.2013. <http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/SAHE/JOURNAL2/2003/HansonZambito.htm.Web.> November, 11.