Tips to Cope on Foreign Campuses

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This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick,who writes on the subject of an online degree in classical studies. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.

Tips to Cope on Foreign Campuses: The ardent desire to pursue quality education pushes youngsters to leave behind all they know and love and fly to foreign shores in search of their dreams – this fact is never truer than in the relationship between Indian students and US universities. To lend more credence to this statement, we only have to take a look at the annual report from the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Open Doors 2006, which states that students of Indian origin outnumbered those from other countries in universities and colleges across the United States of America. They work really hard to secure admission to the school of their choice and are gung-ho when selected, but the moment they board the plane for shores unknown, they are beset by doubts and uncertainties of the next few lonely years in an alien country surrounded by strangers. Here are a few pointers for Indians who are about to embark on this journey and looking for more information on how to cope:

  • Familiarize yourself with facts and information of the college you’re planning to attend. Check the school’s website and read its local newspaper to keep up to date with the happenings on campus.

  • While you’re at it, read up on life in America and what you can expect once you get there, especially in the place your university is located. The Internet is a great source of information if you know where to look.

  • Brush up on your English skills; learn how to talk fluently in the language and how to use American terms and spellings for common words like highway (freeway or expressway in the US) and flat (apartment).

  • If you’re finicky about food, make sure you go prepared to do your own cooking with condiments and spices from home. However, living on campus does not allow you to do this, so remain open to the idea of adapting to new foods.

  • Indian students are not used to visiting their student counselors and advisors or stopping by their professors’ offices to say hello and introduce themselves or clarify doubts, a practice taken for granted by their American counterparts. They must take advantage of the guidance offered and use it to their benefit.

  • Stay in touch with family and friends using online chat software and webcams to reduce the homesickness you feel. It’s true that you’re there to study, but it’s important to get involved in a few social activities as well to reduce the yearning for things and people back home.

  • Go with an unbiased mind and be open to try new experiences and make new friends, irrespective of their religion, culture and nationalities.

If we’re to go by another report, this one from the Council of Graduate Studies, nearly half of  US graduate schools are not averse to the idea of accepting foreign students with only three years of undergraduate education in their home countries as opposed to the current norm of four. This move, if implemented, will only see a surge in the number of students queuing up to grab a place in a prestigious university in the US of A.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick,who writes on the subject of an online degree in classical studies. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.

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About Dr. Gupta

Dr. Uma G. Gupta is the Founder and President of STEM.SMART, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the pipeline of U.S students interested in STEM careers. In addition, she is the CEO of PlanetGPA, an international student recruitment services that serves as an extension to the recruitment offices of U.S. universities.

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