Consider the essentials when you are choosing a college.

Adjusting to a US college environment will not be automatic. But you can lessen some of your concerns by knowing you have a few of the essentials already taken care of:

  • college health care
  • living arrangements
  • meal plans
  • transportation

College Health Care

All students are required to have health insurance. The college usually will provide a carrier. However, a student can use another insurance company.

In addition to health insurance, schools also provide students with college health care facilities. These facilities are designed to serve the health care needs of the student and are a great resource for students to stay healthy and safe in college.

Living Arrangements

Usually, incoming students will be assigned to live in college dorms. Dorms differ from college to college, but the general concept of student housing is the same: shared living quarters.

It probably will be impossible to avoid dorm life. Most colleges make it mandatory for incoming students to live in dorms their first year and sometimes their second.

Dorm living offers a couple of benefits. Dorms are close to campus, are generally safe and provide study and recreational areas for you and your college roommates. Many dorms also host social events for students to meet each other.

Meal Plans

Colleges often will provide students with the option of a food and meal plan. Generally, meal plans are for those living in dorms, but any student can opt for a meal plan.

Meal plans vary and can include two or three meals a day. Often the student can choose when and in which dining hall to eat. Sometimes schools even have programs with local restaurants or have international meals for students. Meal plans are pre-paid and usually a part of college tuition.

Transportation Around US Colleges

Depending on the location of the college and availability of parking, students will have to consider their transportation needs.

Sometimes cars will simply not be plausible on campuses, and they might not even be allowed. If that is the case, the college might provide reliable tuition-paid transportation services to get you get around to events off-campus as well as around the school. These services include buses, carrier vans and other options like public transportation passes.

Using the college’s transportation services is relatively simple and a good way to get to know the campus.

Some changes will take time to get used to. But after a few weeks on campus, any initial worries about college health care, housing, food and transportation will disappear.