If you are an international student in the US, it can be an overwhelming experience. Culture shock for international students is a very real phenomenon, and it can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and other mental issues. So how do you combat these feelings? Here’s a list of advice you can take if you are an international student in the US.
Join a club
One of the best ways to get acclimated in the US college setting is to join a local club. The benefit is twofold:
- You are introduced to a group of like-minded people. You all have something in common with each other, which helps break down the cultural barriers, and as you get closer to them, it gives you a support group to help combat some of the mental issues that come with culture shock.
- It helps you to better get acclimated to American society. It allows you to see the differences Americans act around their peers vs. how you would.
So don’t be afraid to join! There are clubs out there for almost any passion or hobby. Believe me, they will be glad to have a new member, and most, if not all, will be happy to receive your unique perspective.
Socialize and Network
In line with the last tip, it is important to socialize with your schoolmates and teachers. This is important while you are in school, but it can have massive implications for you after you graduate and find a job. Let’s say you were to join one of the universities for economics in the US. It is important to make connections with your TA’s and fellow classmates to help you further your career in econ after school. Matching up with them on various social media platforms is a good way to stay connected. Going to events like parties, guest lectures, or whatever else that your school hosts can also be a good way to meet these people and make positive connections with them throughout your life.
Make sure you take the time to get outside and explore. You can’t and shouldn’t stay in your dorm forever. Take a walk around your campus or town. Check out the local attractions. Go to the nearest natural space and go for a hike. If you can afford it, go on a trip somewhere in the country you want to see. The US has attractions all over, and it is huge! There is a lifetime of things to do and explore in the country, from natural spaces like the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful to tourist spots like Disney World or Hollywood. While you are in the United States, you might as well enjoy it. Try to make your friends back home jealous!
Have a taste of home
A great way to combat homesickness is to get a taste of home. America can be an alien place, but chances are your nearest large city will have a small expat community from your home country. It might be a good idea to visit, try some food you’ve been missing and speak a language that isn’t English. If that’s not possible, perhaps your friends or family could put together a care package to send to you. You can also find most if not all of your favorite snacks online and get them delivered.
Finally, remember that this is only temporary. You won’t be in the US forever, so make sure to be diligent about your work and keep studying hard. You would hate to have wasted your time here and not get the degree you were trying to get.
Life overseas in the US can be tough, especially if you are a student. But, following this advice can help. Remember, if it starts to get too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to reach out. Good Luck in the United States!
Featured Image by univfajar on Pixabay