Time spent studying is important, of course, but when you think about going to study in the U.S. don’t forget that it is a whole experience that is waiting for you, not simply books and exams. So, get ready to follow these steps that ensure you will make the best out of it!
Clubs, clubs, clubs!!!
Join and don’t think twice. Trust me – the best friendships I made in college were through clubs.
Join a club even though you’re not sure if you like it or if you fit in. As an international student, this is your chance to explore other countries and other students from different backgrounds. This is the time to experiment and you never know what you will find out about yourself! I’m a social sciences student and I joined a technology club. Turned to be the best decision I could make. You can always change your decision about a club and stick with only one or two, but at least try out as many as you can.
Utilize your campus facilities!
International students often forget about all the amazing facilities that campuses usually contain in U.S. colleges.
Don’t make that mistake!
Go to your campus’ gym to exercise as often as you can. Use the computer labs at your disposal; visit your library, your indoor pools, activity centers, or whatever is near your building. Try to make the most out of the things students often forget that they are paying for.
Meet your academic advisor from time to time to get some student advice.
Even though you might have a clear idea of what classes you want to take, it would still be a good idea to check with your academic advisor. They are there for a reason, so take advantage of it. They will make sure you are taking the right classes for your intended majors and that you are managing your credits carefully. It never hurts to double check everything!
Go to as many school events as possible!
Whenever you see a notice for a school-organized event do not hesitate to go. Sports games, theater plays, dance club shows… they are worth attending. You will really feel part of the community, and there is no better feeling than hearing students cheering for your team to win! You will regret it if you don’t experience this at least once.
Don’t miss out on the exchange programs your university offers – go study abroad.
Going on exchange to another country is an experience that many regret losing. It is the perfect opportunity to get acknowledged to a new environment, culture, society. It will help you expand your perspective and develop yourself significantly, especially when it comes to risk-taking and the ability to adapt. Connections that you’ll be able to create are also a hugely positive aspect of Exchange programs.
Attend a guest lecture!
You will have several chances to attend guest lectures during your college years. Try to go to as many of them, or at least once! You will be surprised by how interesting they can be. Usually the lecturers are famous and intellectuals from different areas, such as artists, historians, scientists, and other impressive individuals. They will inspire you, and most probably you will learn something new and valuable.
Learn a new language
Most colleges offer several classes for different languages that you can take. Use this opportunity to make yours a skill that comes in very handy when applying for jobs later in life. As an international student, your language could even be one of your subjects! Not to mention all other positive aspects of learning a new language, especially cultural enrichment. You can also make new friends with it! In U.S. colleges, the campuses are so international that it would be impossible not to find someone who is a native of the language you’re learning. Go and impress them!
Use the college’s Student Career Services!
If you are planning to start a job after you finish your studies, the Student Career Services would be the perfect place to start! They can help you with your resume, with job searching, internships, and so much more. So, don’t forget to take advantage of their student services, even if what you’re looking for is just some student advice.
Launch your own Quidditch team!
Don’t think I’m joking! It really is a thing and a very special activity that you can use to socialize. People will love your idea, because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Harry Potter?! If you want to learn more about the game and its rules, check it out here.
Start your own club!
Are you the kind of person who can’t just fit in with the generic clubs, like debate, theater, or whatever your college offers? Just start you own club! It is the perfect opportunity to find fellow students with peculiar interests like yours, and an impressive addition to your resume.
Save money to travel!
Financial planning offered by Genie Consulting will be very helpful if you want to do the thing that most students are especially excited about: traveling! We will help you plan your expenses according to your budget so that you will be able to save as much as possible. Then, you can use those savings to make some of the best memories of your college experience and visit some of the amazing places in the U.S.
Be an Orientation Week volunteer!
You will never know the feeling of teaching freshmen all the secrets of your college until you try it. Trust me, it is so fulfilling to show them around, tell them stories about alumnus or professors, while their eyes are full of wonder and curiosity. Don’t scare them too much though, I know it’s tempting!
Studying in a U.S. college comes with several opportunities and activities that you shouldn’t ignore. It is easy to get caught up in academics and forget about all the amazing things you should also be experiencing or enjoying. But, Genie Consulting is here to remind you how to make the best of every second you spend in your dream university! If you are curious to know more crazy ideas, check out what Stanford staff, students, and alumnus have to say!
We hoped you enjoyed these tips and tricks. As a fellow international student, I know the struggle. But believe me, it gets better!