Are you thinking about studying in the US? The US has lately become the hub for higher studies, many of the students nowadays have applied for the higher studies in the US. The US offers many opportunities for research and academic programs. But one question that always keeps on popping in the head that what are the Challenges for International Students in the United States?
Whether it is finding international student aid, dealing with cultural differences, or finding a solution to an academic problem, international students in the United States face many challenges. But as it is always said for every problem there is a solution. If you have caliber and determination, the sky is limit for you.
Cultural Challenges- normally referred to as Cultural Shock
This is a human nature that one person will take time to acclimatize in the new environment, then get exposed to an unfamiliar environment. Different countries have different cultures. Cultural shock is experienced by the student for the span of time. This period can be called a period of cultural adjustment which involves everything from homesickness, getting used to people, their culture, their food, language everything. Initially, it could be really frustrating or difficult but when you submerge in the culture you will feel easy and overwhelming.
There are some following tips that can be helpful in speed up recovery from the Cultural Shock:
• Always keep reminding yourself –why you have left home? What are your goals? This will help you in remaining focused.
• Try to understand teacher-student relationships. Though it is really informal in the USA if we compared to Asian education system, but try to understand the student-teacher relationship.
• Be open and extrovert, try to talk with the new people and start understanding the culture as soon as you arrived. Look for your fellow foreigner students and start making friends with them.
• Get knowledge about the local transportation and try to commute in that, so that you meet new people and can explore the culture more.
Financial Challenges for International Students in US
Studying in the US is challenging financially as a college in the United States is expensive. Both public and private education are heavy on the pocket. With this much of expense from your pocket, you must think a way of getting it back before you come to your home country.
In addition to tuition fees, the other financial challenge is health insurance, which is not expected by the most of the students. You will not get it automatically and if you don’t want to end up with big medical bills, make sure you get good insurance through your university.
If your university does not provide you with a health plan, you can opt for other international student healthcare programs such as StudentSecure from HCC Medical Insurance Services.
Solutions: another possible way of getting insured for International Students in USA
• You can opt for a merit-based scholarship. In the US there is a scholarship for every topic of study and a minority group or need-based scholarship for an applicant with financial problems. You can ask your school’s financial aid for the scholarship programs and apply for the same.
• Think of doing any kind of part-time job. Some of the colleges will provide you with the on-campus jobs for students include positions-like in the school cafeteria, bookstore, library, or gymnasium. You can also look for the jobs off-site the campus. This will help you recover your basic expenses.
Social Challenges for International Students in USA
Not only students-teachers relationship is different in the United States, but also people interact differently in social situations as well. Get yourself out of your comfort zone and interact with the people and try to know people around you as you can.
• Get to know the students who are going through the same social change. Sign up for different programs and outings.
• Volunteer for the academic groups and other student groups on campus. Will help you acclimatized with the culture and people faster.
• Natives can help you with social interaction and in making your contacts so befriend them. Try to do projects with them to know them better.
• With help of social media try to find out any local event happening around your location, this could help in understanding the culture.
Academic Challenges while studying in USA
Always remember that you are in the US because of your academics. Keeping all the jittery things away, the easiest thing you can do is your school work.
Till now you must have digested this fact that your home country’s education system and the US’s education system is entirely different. Make your studies priority, while all other things will be tackled side by side.
• Talk to the professor. If you are doing some kind of part-time job and can’t stay after school, then take advantage of office hours. Talk to your professor about the projects and anything you are up to.
• Be in contact with your student mentor.
• If you have any difficulty in understanding a topic, in the US study groups are common. You can join any of the group to learn better.