Make the Most of College in the U.S.
Most international students who study abroad in the U.S. are here for the academic programs and opportunities American universities have to offer. Studying is important, but there is so much more college life has to offer than class and homework!
Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your American college experience.
Studying is important, but there is so much more college life has to offer than class and homework!
Take Non-Academic Classes
During my undergraduate University study, I took the classes I needed to get my Bachelors, but I also took some fun “elective” classes. My favorite elective class I took was SCUBA diving! Check out what kind of interesting classes your college offers.
Join a Club
On American campuses, there is a club for everything! Join a club to learn karate, to sing with a choir, to volunteer, or just to make new friends!
Attend Campus Events
Even if you aren’t a fan of sports, you should try to attend at least one football or basketball game at your university to get a feel for the authentic “American” college experience. Most campuses also have regular theatre productions, concerts, movie screenings, and guest lectures that you can attend for free or cheap! Be sure to comply with safety standards at such events during current times (i.e. attending online, wearing a mask, etc.)
Meet New People
Don’t make the mistake of only spending time with other international students from your home country. Make the most of your diverse campus by getting to know people from countries, cultures, religions, and areas of study different from your own. It can be hard to bridge the cultural gap to make friends with someone from a different country, but Bridges International is a safe place where Americans and international students from all over the world gather to make friends and learn from each other.
Explore Your City
Don’t spend all your time on campus. Explore your city! Check out local state and national parks, try out a unique restaurant, visit a farmer’s market. Find an American friend who grew up in the area and ask them what they do for fun. Connect with a Bridges International group–they plan regular outings to help international students get to know their new city.
During a break from classes, travel to a new city with friends. Every year during winter break Bridges International groups from across the country gather for the Vision Conference in a new city! Past locations include Orlando, Denver, and Washington D.C. Scholarships are available that make these trips very affordable. This year the conference will be online, and we hope you can join us from your home state!
Check out the Vision Conference website to learn more about this travel opportunity for International Students.