How to Adjust to Student Life in the US

Students from across the globe start thinking about college and university options once they are done with High School. One of the most coveted countries to gain graduate education is […]

Students from across the globe start thinking about college and university options once they are done with High School. One of the most coveted countries to gain graduate education is the United States. Apart from the high level of education, the US is also known for its excellent student life. It can get overwhelming with endless socials, parties, meets, networking opportunities, dorm life, etc. 

This process does become slightly simpler for adult children of American Green Card holders since they already have some exposure to the country. Suppose you have lived outside the US but have either parent holding an American residency card or Green card. In that case, you could be eligible for the F2B Visa application process, which allows you to live and study in the US for up to five years. For others, there is the option of a student visa or travelling to the US on a tourist visa and seeing the student life, colleges, universities, and people first hand. 


If you already have an inkling about your career preferences and have started the process of applying to various colleges and universities, this post will help you adjust to student life in the US. Remember, it is perfectly normal to experience some anxiety mixed in with excitement. After all, you are soon embarking on a new chapter in your life. 


Expect an Adjustment Period:

US academics are quite different from past school experiences. You may need some time to assimilate and adjust to a new studying, researching, and learning method. It is natural to need time to adapt and take in a significant change. Instead of hurrying and worrying about all the differences, it is best to keep an open mind and listen carefully to professors. 

If you face any issues, it is best to request an appointment with the professor and ask for guidance or additional study resources. Since most American professors believe in a two-way communication street, they welcome questions, debates, different ideas, and more in-class and later. You should take advantage of this option and get all the necessary information to help improve your grades and learn well. 


Observe Your Classmates:

There is a very high chance you would not be the only international student in your class. You may also run into others who share the same nationality and town or city. Many may also have used the services of the same immigration lawyer as you and might have more in common than you realize. Before leaving your country, you could request your immigration lawyer to help you meet with a few others, so you don’t feel alone or left out as a new student. 

Observing others in your classrooms will help you understand how to interact with other students, professors, administrators, and persons of importance. Depending on the university you attend, there may or may not be a strict code of conduct for dressing, mobile phone rules on campus, food and drinks in class, and so on. Observing fellow classmates – how they dress, where they hang out, how they interact with professors, will help you fit in quickly. 



While it is tempting to constantly keep in touch with friends and family back home, you should attempt to get out of your room and socialize with your new peers. Start small by building friendships with flatmates, roommates, and classmates. Making plans to meet, joining on-campus activities (especially during orientation week), and taking an active part in new on-campus clubs and events will help you interact with others and build new relationships. 

Socializing with others can help you reduce your stress, be in an environment with other students, and connect with others who likely share the same hobbies and interests. Many American universities have community and rec centres that invite international students to participate and add value. 


Know Your Limits:

It is effortless to get swept away by new things when you’re not living at home or are meeting different people. Most students want to appear cool and casual with everything but might get uncomfortable. If this is something you could face, it is best to take a step back and check your limits. 

If you get uncomfortable at a party, socializing event, with a professor, or any other instance, you should leave the place at once. If you feel uneasy, uncomfortable or are being forced into alcohol, drugs, or unwanted physical activities, you should immediately speak to a student counsellor and get help. Knowing your limits and reaching out for help will make you stronger and more comfortable with your new life. 

Paid Post

Support us!

All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.


paypal smart payment button for simple membership

Share this post

Interested in co-operating with us?

We are open to co-operation from writers and businesses alike. You can reach us on our email at [email protected]/[email protected] and we will get back to you as quick as we can.

Where to next?

The Power of Podcasts in Enhancing Learning

In the dynamic landscape of modern education, the rise of podcasts as a learning tool stands out. For American college students, constantly balancing academics with other aspects of college life,…

Understanding the UN: A Student’s Guide

As a college student, you're at a stage in life where understanding global institutions like the United Nations (UN) is not just beneficial, it’s essential. The UN, with its complex…

Microlearning: The Power of Small Educational Bites

In the fast-paced, information-rich world we live in, traditional learning methods are evolving to meet new challenges. College students, often managing a delicate balance between academics, jobs, and personal lives,…