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International student help on US colleges and universities is readily available and easy to find.
That may be because international students face challenges beyond the normal concerns of many of their classmates. International students are experiencing a new culture, and maybe a new language. They are far from their family and friends and may experience bouts of loneliness.
Take the time to learn what types of help your new college or university and community offers international students.
Your college or university probably will have an international student services office to provide help for international students who have come to the US and US students who wish to study abroad. The staff in this office will be able to answer your questions about US student visas, American language and culture, and academics – or at least be able to tell you who you can ask for help.
Meet new people by joining student organizations that focus on one of your hobbies. Play sports. Talk to fellow students in your classes.
Some universities can even pair you with members of the community who aren’t students. These new friends can give you an insight into American life outside the university. They also can provide help for international students who need to navigate problems many residents probably take for granted, such as where to get groceries or how to use public transportation.
Help overcome homesickness by meeting other international students who understand what you’re going through. Some colleges have clubs for international students, or you could join a club for students learning your native tongue. Either organization will probably be glad to have you share the ideas, traditions and recipes you bring from your homeland.
Homesickness may be even more acute near the holidays when many other students go home and the campus feels deserted. The university or groups in the community might offer meals or other forms of help for international students to feel more at home. In fact, professors have been known to invite international students to their homes for holiday meals!
Your university may have a counseling center or other psychological service on campus. International students can talk to a professional about concerns regarding school, your family or other issues.
These sessions may be one-on-one, or the center may offer group sessions so students can share their concerns with one another. As a registered student, you may not have to pay a fee, but don’t let the cost prevent you from seeking the help you need.
Just remember: If you are dealing with a serious issue, such as depression, don’t hesitate to visit the counseling center or ask the international office for resources to help you.
Help for international students comes in many forms at American colleges and universities. These resources can make your time in the United States more enjoyable, and ultimately more rewarding. However, if you continue to find yourself miserable, your decision to study in America is reversible. You can probably be home in a day or two.