Being an international student in the USA in search of better career opportunities, there are some issues affecting international students like academic difficulties, cultural challenges and more.
There are challenges faced by international students the majority of whom are Indians when they move to the USA. But it always helps to know things in advance to lessen the effect of those problems on you. If you are mentally prepared regarding the various issues that you are about to face as soon as you start your new life in the USA, you will be able to deal with all of it in a better way.
Here are the Challenges and problems faced by international students studying in the USA on F1 visa, CPT, OPT or H1B.
Challenges Faced by International Students – Let’s look at a few of those problems:
1. Cultural shift
Moving from a country known for its diverse culture to a different country altogether, you are going to be left dazed. You will be amongst people who do not understand your culture and because of this, you might feel out of place. Their lifestyle differs from yours in terms of food, habits, choice of clothes, attitude and many such things.
Even the way you handshake in the US is different. People in the US will hold your hand firmly when they shake hands with you. If you keep your hand loses, it will indicate that you are an under-confident person. Also, the way you interact and your body language has to be in a certain way to match theirs. There are several behavioral norms as well that you would need to take care of.
2. Language barrier
International students might find it difficult to overcome the language barrier. For many of those whose first language is not English, may find it difficult to converse with the USA students. But to your rescue, there are several exams you would have to prepare for in order to qualify to go to the US universities. So, it is advised to be well-prepared and become fluent in English before entering the premises of your university.
No matter how excited you were before leaving your home to study in the U.S., you are going to miss home and that is for sure. You are going to miss home-made food, your siblings, your friends, your country… but you have to adjust yourself to the new environment and make a habit of living without all of that you left back home. You have to fight homesickness and do what you are supposed to do there in the USA and that is to study and make your future. New people, new surroundings may haunt you at first and you may feel alone, but you have to keep going on.
4. Accommodation problems
International students are going to have a tough time finding the right place to reside in. It becomes even problematic to find a place near the university. There may also be budget-related problems. But to your rescue, there are several websites which will help you find suitable places which fulfill all your basic requirements.
5. Social Abuse
Now, it is not necessary that you come across people who socially abuse you. But you must always be prepared for the worst. Most of the abuses till date have been identified as due to differences in race and culture. You must be mentally prepared beforehand to avoid last-minute panic attacks. This is a common problem faced by international students and you must not take it too seriously. However, these problems are faced by students only in Australia until now.
6. Learning Style
The learning style differs and you will realize that once you come to study in the USA. For example, In India, students are familiarized by lectures based classes. But in the U.S, you will be required to do more of practical work like attending workshops, seminars, and you would also come across various international learning techniques.
7. Academic expectations
You have secured great marks or wonderful grades while you were in your home country. But, now that you have moved to a different country, your performance may fluctuate a bit. This is because of the change in studying environment and new methods of getting assessed.
8. Facing Financial Problems
Living in the U.S. is definitely expensive and you would have to think twice before buying anything. Even a chocolate ice-cream is going to cost a lot when you compare its’ cost in your country. So invest wisely and try saving money instead of wasting it on buying things which can be avoided. You can also consider working on a part-time job and earn money. That way, you can also use that money to fulfill your little requirements without falling short of money. In fact, working along with studying is the best way to live in the U.S if you are an international student.
9. Facing prejudice
You may also feel left out or discriminated just because you belong to a different country. You may face exclusion, lack of involvement in groups and biased behavior from the foreign students. Although social discrimination is not supported by foreign universities, there are still some cases where international students may feel humiliated due to neglect or ignorance by local students over there.
10. Adapting to new time zones
The difference in US timings might turn out to be a little problematic for you. It usually happens that adjusting to the new time zones becomes a little challenging for outsiders. Also, there might be a shift in the working hours. There might be cases when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to make a call to your bank or call your family members at odd hours. But to keep you updated, there are various apps which can help you learn the time differences. These time-keeping apps come handy.
We have discussed the major problems that you might have to face when you stay in the USA. But being aware of all of it will help you a great deal. Do know how you will make yourself comfortable with the new setting and adjust accordingly. Moving to a new place always makes room for a lot of discomforts. But, you do not have to worry because with the time you get used to the new environment. It’s just a matter of time and then you will start enjoying your time in the USA. But, do keep the above points in mind, so that you have at least some idea about all that could happen to you. Just go well-prepared and make the most of the excellent education that you will receive in the foreign university.
We wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Max Troy is the Career Counsellor as well as a passionate Author. Well, he has years of experience in the Career and Jobs industry. As a part of his career at OPTnation, he helped various OPT and CPT candidates to shape their Career. Through his knowledge and writing skill, he is contributing to the students to find the best Career advice and immigration topics. Do share the information if you like it.