Being a foreigner in the US is never easy, and the situation will worsen simultaneously as an international student. Thousands of students travel to the US every year seeking higher education and better opportunities. Each of them has stories of their life experiences and fights.
Did you know? Even the way you shake hands with others in the US is different. People in the US will hold your hand firmly when they shake hands with you. If they notice you have a meek handshake, they might assume you to be an underconfident person. Additionally, the way you interact and your body language goes a long way. There are several behavioral norms as well that you would need to take care of.
International students in the US experience challenges in several areas, including language barriers, academics, social and cultural differences, discrimination, financial stressors, and mental health concerns. These are not easy problems to solve, and there is only so much we can do to overcome this. Let's take a closer look at these challenges, one at a time, and consider how we can tackle them. Some of the challenges faced by international students in the US are:
- Cultural Shock
- Accommodation Issues
- Learning styles
- Academic expectations
- Financial Troubles
- Adapting to new time zones
- Language barriers
- Reluctance to ask for clarification
We all know that the cultural difference between the East and the West is vast. So when you are moving to the US, it is natural to expect a cultural shock. This includes the shock of a new environment, meeting lots of new people, and learning the ways of a new country. It also includes the shock of being separated from the people you love, those you lean on in a time of uncertainty, and those who guide and support you.
Building a Credit History
While moving to a new country, you might be prepared to face most of the challenges head-on, but did you know your credit score in India won’t be useful in the US? Yes, that’s right. No matter how fantastic your credit score was back home, it will be of no use when you are in the US.
So how do you start building your financial footprint in a new country?
Your solution to all worries you have in a new country.
Zolve provides students with a high-limit US Credit Card and Bank Account with zero joining fees and annual charges. All you need to do is upload your basic information on our website, tell us when you're traveling, and you're all set for a valid US Credit Card and Bank Account even before you set foot in the US.
Despite how excited you are about leaving your home country and making a new base in the US, you will miss home sooner or later. You will miss the home-cooked food, your food, and your country. But you have come here to better your future. Therefore, you must adjust to the new environment and make a habit of living without the comforts you had in your home country. New people and new surroundings might haunt you at first, and you might feel alone, but you must keep going.
It is a given that international students in the US will have a tough time finding the correct accommodation. And it becomes even more complicated if you are trying to find a place near your university as there might be budgeting issues.
Learning styles will differ between countries, and you will realize that firsthand when you come to the US as an international student. For example, students from many parts of the world, especially India are accustomed to lecture-based classes. But in the US, you will be required to do more practical work like attending workshops and seminars and familiarizing yourself with international learning techniques.
While you might have secured excellent grades in your home country, now that you have moved to a new one, don't stress if your performance fluctuates. This could be because of the changing study environment and the new assessment method.
Living in the US is expensive, and you must think twice before buying anything. Compared to your home country, even something as basic as an ice cream cone might cost you a lot of money. Hence, it is advisable to invest wisely and try saving money instead of wasting it on buying things that can be avoided. Also, your student visa will allow you to work part-time jobs. Therefore, if you can fit it into your schedule, try taking that up.
Adapting to new time zones
The difference in US timings might initially be difficult for you to adjust. Keep in mind that there might be a shift in the working hours. There might be cases when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to make a call to your bank or call your family members at odd hours.
Many international students have studied English as the first language in their native country but may be less familiar with the slang compared to their peers or professors. These can make both understanding and speaking difficult.
Reluctance to ask for clarification
It has been observed repeatedly that many international students feel self-conscious and will not ask for clarification out of fear of offending them or increasing their insecurities. Their lack of understanding may be viewed negatively by peers or professors. Many feel reluctant to ask for further explanation if they receive negative feedback or response.
Now that we have discussed the major problems you might have to face during your stay in the US, please remember that being aware of these will help you deal extensively. Moving to a new one always makes room for a lot of discomforts. Don't stress about it too much because, with time, you will get used to your new surroundings. It is just a matter of time before you start enjoying your time in the US.