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Guest Column: Tips for Students Headed for the USA May 16, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, EDUCATION.
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There’s something about heading off to foreign shores to pursue an education, especially if said education is not forthcoming in your own country. The USA is a land of opportunities that welcomes students from all over the world into its universities and colleges in order to endow them with both practical and theoretical knowledge. But there are certain rules that must be followed and certain advice that you must heed if you want your stay in the US to be successful and rewarding.
· First of all, you need to ensure that your visa and other travel documents are prepared and ready. Your application needs to be accepted by a university in order for you to apply for a visa. Your school (in the US, colleges are referred to as schools, so don’t get confused) of choice will help you with the visa application.
· You need to be able to substantiate your visa application with proof of how you’re going to sustain yourself while in the USA. If you have secured a scholarship, you’ll need to include the necessary papers.
· Learn about the place you’re going to call home for the next four (or two) years. Use the Internet to read up on the customs, people and places of interest so that you don’t feel out of sorts when you get there.
· Learn more about your chosen university, whether they offer accommodation on campus or if you’ll have to make your own arrangements, and if the administration has a special body set up to help foreign students.
· Once you get there, try and mingle with everyone rather than just seeking out your countrymen. It’s natural that you’re going to feel homesick and find comfort in the company of people who speak the same language as you do and are familiar with your customs, but if you want to fit in, you must make an effort to make friends outside of your community.
· Explore the campus and make sure you obey the rules. It’s a good idea to participate in all the orientation classes so that you know your way around the place.
· Make it a point to attend all your lectures and talk to your professors if you don’t understand something. When you do well academically, you tend to feel good about yourself.
· Call or email people at home as often as you can and encourage them to keep in touch as well so that homesickness and nostalgia don’t become too much of a problem.
· And most important of all, brush up on your English if you’re not fluent in the language. You’ll feel less of an outsider if you’re able to hold your own in conversations and discussions.

This post was contributed by Claire Webber, who writes about the best universities online. She welcomes your feedback at Claire.Webber1223 at gmail.com

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