Best 5 Tips for International Students

Best 5 Tips for International Students

Cape Town  -When I was accepted to study in the United States, along with my feelings of excitement and adventure were overwhelming anxiety and uncertainty. I mentally prepared myself for missing my native, Cape Town South Africa. Leaving the country in which I spent my entire life and moving half-way across the world is probably the most nerve-wracking experience I have been through but I can confidently say that it has also been the most rewarding. Although I have been here for 3 years now, I still find myself lost in navigating cultures, languages, peoples and environments.

1. Organize your paperwork

The most frustrating thing about moving to another country is all the paperwork. I would advise that you apply for your VISA as soon as you can, make sure you have all the necessary documents to ensure that the process runs smoothly. As an international student, there are certain rules and regulations that you are required to follow and it is quite useful to familiarize yourself with these before entering the country. It is also useful to carry your passport with you wherever you go in case of an emergency and if you are interested in attending events or places with an age requirement they almost always ask for a second-form-of-identification other than your ID.

2. Stay on top of academics

Depending on where you are coming from, the academic load could be quite hectic and it is extremely easy to get distracted. Develop a study plan and timetable to make sure that you have time to fit in everything that needs to get done. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take advantage of the writing center, math center and any other extra tutoring sessions. Every professor I have had throughout my 3 years has been helpful and accommodating to my needs as an international student.'

3. Get Involved!

The best way to adjust to your new surroundings is to meet people. Getting involved in activities on campus is a great way to do this. There are a variety of clubs and organizations on campus that you can join and it is a wonderful way to meet people who are interested in the same things as you. This is useful in familiarizing yourself with campus life and making the most out of your experiences.

4. Make time to communicate with friends and family back home

Time differences and conflicting-schedules make it difficult to constantly communicate with friends and family back home. It’s easy to get caught up in school-work, activities and social events but it is important to make time to catch up and touch base with people back home.

5. Take advantage of opportunities 

I feel like it’s a requirement to take as many opportunities as you can to explore and learn more in the country in which you’re in. Think, when will you ever get an opportunity like this again? Take advantage of every holiday and break to see a new place or to try something that you haven’t tried before.

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