Travel, Stay and Culture training

10 Mistakes International Students Make in the USA

Kashyap Matani

International students usually spend the first year at the international university adjusting to the new environment. Being away from home can be pretty daunting, and so can the culture shock. Amidst this new phase of uncertainty, you do not need to be burdened with some common mistakes that most international students make. Here's a list of all the mistakes students usually make and how you can stay on top of them!

  1. Missing Out on the Orientation:

A crucial mistake that most students make is missing out on the orientation. The orientation of your university serves the purpose of acquainting you with all the important places on campus. You will also learn about exciting courses offered, meet fellow students as well faculty members - all of which will help you as you go along. So, to become more comfortable in this new environment, make sure you attend the Orientation.

  1. Not Harnessing Your English Skills:

Having a stronghold over English, both verbal and written, is going to be essential to having a smooth and successful stay while studying in the US. Therefore, make sure you are harnessing your skill by going over English Grammar books, communicating with American students and professors to improve pronunciation, and reading more books to enhance diction.

  1. Keeping Away from Campus Activities:

It's essential to get involved in extracurricular activities in order to build a strong rapport with fellow students. It can also be a great way to make friends and also gives you some time off from academics. So, make sure to sign up for the clubs that you're interested in – you will get to learn many valuable skills, and it's very engaging.

  1. Skipping Out on Social and Professional Networking:

To reap long term benefits from your time at university, you will need to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and professions and form genuine connections with them. Introducing yourself to the professors, being regular with assignments and being mindful of their critiques can help you tremendously in your academic journey. Also, remember to actively participate in group projects to form lasting connections with like-minded people.\

  1. Not Utilizing Available Resources:

As highlighted in the above pointer, your professors are the most significant resource during your time at the University. They have ample knowledge and wisdom in their field of study which, when imparted with you, will help you prosper and grow. Therefore, utilize the office hours of professors to stay on top of your learning process and to get personalised tutoring from your professor.

  1. Not Having a Plan/Schedule:

A proper schedule that aligns with your syllabus for the semester is a must if you do not want to be scrambling to complete assignments at the very last minute. Meeting essential deadlines, working on your extracurriculars, and also taking time out for yourself can all be managed simultaneously if you have the right plan curated with set priorities.

  1. Not Keeping a Track of Expenses:

Emphasising again on the importance of creating a schedule or plan, you should also create a limit with respect to your budget. Resist spending on inessential items and instead, save for the future. If buying books is taking up most of your budget, remember that there are old textbooks available on Amazon and even Ebay. You could also borrow from alumni friends.

  1. Comprising on Health and Nutrition:

Being a college student can be pretty stressful, especially if you have too many deadlines lurking around the corner. But remember not to compromise on your mental and physical health even during demanding times. Have a self-care routine that involves yoga, meditation or any other physical activity that you like. Hydrate yourself throughout the day and remember to avail the gym facilities that might be there on campus.

  1. Not Exploring Your Area:

As part of your time off from academic duties, remember to explore the area where you live. Discovering and visiting new nearby places might help you later in getting around quickly. It might also bring up sites where you could shop frugally and without exceeding your budget limit.

  1. Shying Away from Asking for Help:

Lastly, if you are unsure about something, do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember that there are always plenty of avenues to seek help from and that doing so might actually lead you to form lasting connections with fellow friends, professors, and your counsellor.

Finally, remember that there will be some mistakes made, but eventually, you will learn from them and blossom!

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