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February 12, 2010

3 Things to Know Before Going to College in the USA

It’s a great time to study abroad, especially because universities in the United States are turning to greener shores like China and India in search of students. For one, they know that they are bound to find an intelligent crop of youngsters, and for another, students in eastern countries (or rather their parents) have been saving up for their education ever since they were born and so are right now are richer than their American counterparts when it comes to paying tuition fees. If you’ve been accepted to a college in the USA, it is the opportunity of a lifetime; but before you get there, you must know a few important things:

  • The place you’re going to be living in: Yes, you know you’re going to so and so university, but do you know where exactly it is? There are places in the USA that share the same name, so if you get them confused when you do your research, you’re going to be in a real mess. I’ve heard a story where a foreign student understood Washington to be DC when it actually referred to the state. This was of course a few years ago when the Internet was not this popular or easily accessible. But even today, people have been known to screw up because they were not familiar with the place where their college is located. So use the Internet to read up on your new home for the next four years so you won’t feel out of place when you get there.
  • How you’re going to get by: You may have paid your tuition fees, but there are other expenses you must take care of when going through four years of college. You’ll most probably have to get a job once you go there, but with a student visa, all you’ll be able to do is relatively small jobs like waiting tables or being an assistant in a shop. Even so, every dollar you can earn counts, so do your research and find out the kinds of jobs you’re likely to get at places on or close to your campus. Also ensure that you have enough funds to see you through the first few months of your stay in college, until you’re able to find a job.
  • How to get in touch with your countrymen in the locality: It’s true that you haven’t come to the USA to bond with your countrymen, but seeing a relatively familiar face or speaking in a familiar tongue in a strange country could help you get through the initial bout of homesickness. The best way to get in touch with people from your country is to get some help from people at the administration office who can put you on to seniors or people in your own year group.
The opportunity to study abroad is a stepping stone in your life, one that helps you achieve great heights, so use it wisely.
This guest post is contributed by Brenda Harris, who writes on the topic of executive mba programs . She can be reached at her email id: .

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