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What It's Like To Be An International Student In USA

Are you going to college in USA as a foreigner, or have you already attended college in USA as a foreigner? These struggles might help you out during your college years, or might refresh your memory.

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1. You flew across the world, brought almost everything you can in your suitcase that was allowed by the airline company.


Finally you're at your college, met your roommates. When you have only 1 suitcase thinking that it would be enough, they seem to be moving their whole house into somewhat looks like 200 square feet room. You know you secretly want to move your whole bedroom into your dorm room too, but we can't carry that much in one suitcase can we?

2. The first day of college begins


Yes, you have tried to talk with couple of American students, but it seems like your not really clicking with them. So what do you do when this happens? you go to your crowd. (all the international student)

3. U.S currency to your country's currency


Shopping time! You do need at least a blanket and a pillow for your dorm room. Well we all know what your first destination is going to be, either Target or Walmart. Whenever you purchase an item you will always calculate it into your home currency. Now you realize how expensive is a blanket, even toothbrush seems to be really expensive. If you're from a country that has higher currency than U.S dollars then you'll feel like you own the world.

4. You try break out of the International student bubble


Yeay, you've made couple of friends and ready for the college life. But you also want to hang out with group of people outside of your international friends. So you approach them to be friends, some of them might think you're a weirdo. When you finally met American students who wants to be your friend, you will notice that they are mostly majoring in either international business, international relations, or political science. Basically all the students whose major is related something with international relations.

5. The metric system and The Imperial system


If you have to fill out any type of paperwork that has any imperial system measurement in it, you are going to be lost. Unless, if you are from Libya, and Myanmar. What is Imperial system measurement? My height is 5 foot 6? How do you measure that? Did you measure me with average feet size? Is that why it says 5 foot? So now, not only do you have to do your homework assignments, you have a new assignment to learn "The Imperial System".

6. What stereotype category do you fit in?


Oh yes, you will fit in to at least one stereotype. As an asian myself, everyone thought I was good at math. So when I was taking my Gen Ed classes, of course math is there. So everyone will come to me to and ask if I have time after class to help them out with their homework. You won't say no, you'll just smile and nod thinking "But you don't even know if I'm good at math".

7. The summer break, spring break, winter break any type of holiday break.


Okay semester is about to finish, everyone is planning their vacation. All of your American friends are going back home. They will tell you that they have missed their family and friends from back home, who is only maybe 2 or 3 hour drive away or 1 or 2 hour flight away. And your just sitting there thinking "Oh yeah, I can totally relate, because my family is halfway across the world from here." You will have couple options on how to spend your holiday. You can spend your holidays at your dorm alone, with other international students, or with you foster parents.

8. International Students Office is your best friend

Aaaahhh, the great visa struggles. Any questions you have about your visa, or how to get out of the country and come back in legally. ISO will know what to do. You might have no idea what is going on with your visa, but there will be someone in that office whos got your back so you don't get deported. F-21 ? no problem, OPT? no problem, CPT? no problem, H1B? might be a little bit of complications.

9. What to do after graduation?


By the time you graduate you'll have two countries to call home. You might have to go back home or you might be able to find job and get sponsorship. Either way these were the best years you will have or had. You wouldn't change it in any way. Plus you'll have friends who will offer you to marry so you can stay.

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