Choosing to pursue your studies thousands of miles away from home can be a decision that is very exciting yet scary at the same time. It’s normal for students who have decided to move to the US for study to be nervous and not sure of what to expect.

However, if you’re thinking of going to college in the States, you will be glad to know that many international students have reported it as being the best time of their lives. If you’re planning on heading off to college in the US, we’ve put together a list of things to bear in mind before you go.

You’ll Be Spending a Lot of Time Attending College

In the US, attending college is like a full-time job. You’ll be living on campus, and you’ll probably be expected to attend a lecture or seminar each weekday. Most things going on in your life will be related to your university degree, and this doesn’t just stop at your course – you’ll also probably be involved in a number of extracurricular activities and not to mention the buzzing social life on campus.

You should bear in mind that college in the US is a lot more than just taking classes, and you’ll be expected to do a lot of work outside of the classroom such as assignments and research.

You Don’t Need to Decide Your Major Immediately

Unlike some other countries, the US college system doesn’t require students to choose a subject to major in straight away. At a lot of US colleges, you won’t need to choose a major until your sophomore year, meaning that if you’re unsure about what you’d like to do, you have plenty of time to choose.

Of course, if you’ve already got your mind made up regarding exactly what it is you’d like to study, it’s possible to choose your major straight away as well. Some US colleges allow you to take a sport as a major. If you’re interested in this, check out Athletes USA.

The Social Life

When coming to study in the US, it’s good to bear in mind that the social life at college is a big part of the university experience.

Americans tend to be quite friendly and open, so don’t be surprised if you have total strangers making conversation with you whilst in line at the canteen or waiting for the bus.

This is great for making new friends and familiarizing yourself with your new location! Although many Hollywood movies depict the US college experience as being very party central, this does vary from college to college with some having more of a party scene than others.

Fraternities and Sororities

If you’d really like to get a full all-rounded experience of USA college life, you might want to apply to a fraternity or sorority. These are groups that are unique to the US, and for international students can hold a lot of mystery. If you’re thinking of becoming part of a frat house or sorority house, you should bear in mind that applications tend to close quite early, so don’t be late.

Did you study in the USA? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


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