Here’s your guide to student life in the United States


Pursuing higher education in the United States can be an exciting and rewarding experience for Indian students. The growing number of Indian students choosing to study in the United States is an indication of the value of an American college degree. However, what sets American universities apart is not just the quality of education they provide, but also the support and resources they provide so that international students can adapt quickly and get the most out of it. of their time on campus.

Your first point of contact after arriving in the United States

The first point of contact for all international students arriving on campus is the Office for International Students and Scholars. This desk is designed to meet the unique needs of international students throughout their time at university. Their services include helping international students settle into college, get their student ID, learn about student residence options, get to know the campus, and much more. Keeping in touch with the International Office for Students and Fellows is also important as it is the same office that will help students with the documentation required to travel to the United States.

The importance of the welcome week

Each fall, it is customary for American universities to hold a festive event often called “Welcome Week”, usually held the week before classes start. During Welcome Week, all incoming students have the chance to meet representatives of various student organizations on campus. Student organizations are a very important part of life on an American campus, and there are many types of student organizations – career-oriented organizations such as the Society for Women Engineers, social organizations such as the Indian Student associations, etc. You can even join student organizations such as a Gamer’s Club or Cricket Club. During Welcome Week, international students will also attend a student orientation where they will learn about important resources such as the library, student union, stewardship or registrar’s office (where students pay their fees), classrooms, health services, recreation center and important traditions and landmarks at the university.

Once students have settled into their university, they can meet with an academic advisor who helps plan students’ academic paths and stay on track. Universities in the United States are known for having a flexible academic structure. Academic advisors help students navigate the many course offerings in their programs by helping to determine if the student has enough knowledge to pass each course. The Academic Advisor will also recommend adding or removing courses based on degree requirements, help explore student interests, and provide additional resources if the student is struggling.

Manmohan Thorat, EducationUSA Coordinator at USIEF Mumbai

Introduction to academia

The academic environment on a US college campus can be very different from what international students would experience in their home country. On an American campus, professors are accessible and work “office hours” – a certain number of hours each week during which they host one-on-one meetings with students. Students should participate in class discussions and prepare for class in advance. The semester syllabus is usually shared on the first day of class and will contain details of the topics to be covered, project submission dates and exam schedule. This ensures timely progress through periodic evaluation.

The two buildings in which many students spend most of their time on campus are the student union and the library. The Student Union is devoted to student life and is often home to student organizations, restaurants, and the main bookstore. Student unions are a great place to interact with other students and explore all of the campus offerings. The library, on the other hand, is dedicated to learning. It’s more than just a place for books, though. In addition to viewing books, students can access research materials through the library’s catalog system, and some libraries even provide laptops for students. Libraries usually have designated areas for group work, quiet areas, and cafeterias for a quick snack. You can even reserve study rooms in the library for individual and group work.

You can always count on support services

There are various student support services that students can utilize throughout their college career, such as writing services, tutoring services, and career services. Writing is an essential skill, no matter what field the student is pursuing. Universities understand that students have different levels of writing skills and provide writing services for students who want to improve them. Writing services help students understand how to proofread, maintain academic integrity, and improve their writing skills in general. Plagiarism is considered a serious offense in the US higher education system – US universities provide resources to ensure all students understand how to avoid it. Students can use the tutoring services if they feel they need more help with their lessons. Students can contact their professor or academic advisor to find out how to benefit from tutoring services.

Universities in the United States take the safety and security of their students very seriously. Several American universities even have their own campus police. Many security measures are provided on campus to ensure a stress-free and safe environment for students, such as frequent police patrols on campus, emergency cabins, assistance in returning students to their dormitories late at night, campus warning systems and specially trained police to deal with students at universities. The Office of International Students and Scholars will provide contact information for campus police in the event of an emergency.

Students can take advantage of the services intended for them

Most universities in the United States have a shuttle service that transports students around campus and to major city destinations. This service is usually free and can help you save time, especially when you have to travel to classes throughout the university or do your weekend shopping. There are several dining options on campus. It is not uncommon to find Indian cuisines that cater to the large Indian student population at American universities. Students can always make special requests in case they have dietary restrictions. Such requests are quite common in the United States.

Many international students choose to attend universities in the United States because of the resources available on campus for academic success. The United States continues to be the most popular destination for Indian students.

For more information, please visit the EducationUSA website (), and for individual questions or direct advice with an EducationUSA advisor, please write to .

The author is EducationUSA Coordinator at USIEF Mumbai

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