Getting ready to study in North America can be a stressful yet exciting thing to do! Students will have to learn a new language, you will be concerned about doing well in school as well as living in a new country.
But don’t worry! You are not the only one going through these major changes. Close to 1 million international students study in the USA and about 336,000 international students were studying in Canada during the 2014/2015 school year, according to the Open Doors Data Portal.
International students receive so much support from the college or university they choose to study at. The International Students Office is there to help students transition into the North American education system. Since you will most likely be arriving in a new country with many questions, the International Offices are a great place to contact first. They will also try to help you feel more comfortable in these new surroundings. The office staff will try to help you have a successful experience in both academic and personal aspects.
“Learning how to study and work with people from other countries and cultures also prepares future leaders to contribute to making the world a less dangerous place.” – said President of the Institute of International Education Dr. Allan E. Goodman
As a student in North America you will have access to all the same experiences that domestic students have. There are amazing sports facilities, world class research projects and so many clubs for you to experience through your time in Canada or the USA. You will be working alongside so many different people, from domestic students, to people from all over the world.
Getting used to the Culture
Travelling and living in a new country can be difficult for some students. You may experience Culture Shock. Culture shock is a ‘feeling of disorientation many people feel when experiencing an entirely new way of life’. Check out some tips on how to cope with culture shock in our blog: How to Deal with Culture Shock.
It may hard to adjust to your new country. Talking to teachers and other students will help you adjust quicker. You can ask them questions about the new country that you are living in.
The weather and natural surroundings in Canada and the USA may be very different than what you are used to in your home country. Learn how to prepare yourself for the winter season here.
Tips for adjusting to your new surroundings:
- Remember that these feelings are natural and many students feel this way
- Get involved with activities on or off campus
- Talk to you International Student Office
- Talk to other international students that have been in North America for a while and ask their advice
- Make sure you keep a healthy diet
- Some faith/religious groups may be helpful for some students
- Keep in touch with family and friends in your home country
Studying abroad can be stressful. Click HERE to learn some tips and tricks for dealing with the stress of being an international student.
You will want to make sure that you have completed an English course before you start your studies in Canada or the USA. When you apply through ApplyBoard you do NOT need to have IELTS or TOEFL. If you do not have IELTS or TOEFL you may be required to study English for 4-12 months based on your placement test. Your classmates and teachers will be there to help you with and language barriers you may have.
Ask for help if you need it!
Getting used to living in North America can take a long time. But the people around you will try their best to make you comfortable in your new surroundings. The International Student Office is a great place to start for some help! These offices are there to help you and answer any questions you may have about the school, your program or life in a new country. Since you will most likely be arriving in a new country with many questions, the International Offices are a great place to contact first. They will also try to help you feel more comfortable in these new surroundings. The office staff will try to help you have a successful experience in both academic and personal aspects.
Don’t be afraid to ask people in your class for help as well. They may have some great tips for you while you are studying in Canada or the USA. You may also meet some students that are also international students and you will be able to share your experiences together.
Participate in class
Being active and frequently participating in class is an important thing to do. Participation can really help you learn in class as well as have your questions heard and answered. Many teachers look for participation from their students. Everyone’s opinion counts and your teacher and classmates will want to hear what you think about the topics being discussed.
Enjoy your time in Canada or the USA
There are so many fun things to do when you are not in the class room. There are many sports teams and clubs for you to join. You can enjoy doing something you are interested in as well as meeting new friends. You can also work part time as a student which allows you to gain valuable work experience as well as some extra money while you are studying.
You will also have a summer and winter break (depending on the time of your course). This is a great time to experience Canada or the USA. Learn more about what you can do through the winter break here.
Traveling and studying in a new country can be a difficult experience to get used to. Many students are experiencing the same feelings as you, so don’t feel like you are alone! Make sure you ask for help when needed and try to get involved with activities around your campus and you will start to feel more comfortable with your new surroundings in Canada or the USA.