The biggest problem for overseas students in America is cultural clashes. Differences in eating habits, language barriers, and differences in movie and music genres, such cultural clashes can be found in all aspects of life, which makes it difficult for overseas students to be truly assimilated into the American campus. Here are some experience shared by some Americans in hopes of helping overseas students better and more quickly adapt to the American college life.
I.Do not refrain from socializing or confining your social circle.
American college campuses are generally very large with colorful campus activities. Even local students who just enter college will be intimidated by it, let alone Chinese students who come from across the ocean. Here you will come across various opportunities, enjoy more abundant resources and make many new friends, which will help you enrich your resume and broaden your horizons. At such moments some overseas students would rather stay in their dormitories to enjoy the internet speed, which is as fast as flying with no restriction of “walls”, and some choose to stay in the students’ circle of their own countries and confine their social circles. Results of such actions will not only limit their college experience and greatly reduced the advantages to study in American universities.
Our first suggestion is to step out of your “comfort zone” and socialize with as many different people as possible. You should know there are many people around you who share the same feelings with you. What you need to do is to open your ice-breaking journey by talking with people around you, especially your roommates and students in the same floor. This is the quickest way. In addition, campus activities and student clubs are all good socializing groups. Do not waste good time and opportunities on campus.
II.Settle sensitive problems with a cool attitude
Staying in a foreign country, you will inevitably hear some different or negative news and remarks, especially those concerning your own country. At such time you will feel resistant or angry. After all it is about the place where you were born. This is also the reason why some students are reluctant to communicate with others.
Our suggestion is you should understand those views and comments are targeted at the government rather than individuals. Second, compared with students from other countries, American students have more open thoughts and more outgoing and friendly characters. Staying in a diversified campus environment provides you good opportunities to communicate with them to partiality and subjectivity in each other’s cultures. Try to add a voice from a Chinese student to your campus.
There was story in an American campus in which a Chinese student voluntarily organized a petition regarding the situation that the center of the campus was national flags of many countries but China. The next year in the center of the campus the Chinese flag showed up.
III.In American there are huge divergences in the economic situation, social status and rac
ial distribution of different communities, especially the racial distribution. This is typical in American communities but hard to understand in such country as China where there is only one race. Therefore an inadvertent error of yours might put you in an embarrassing and even terrible situation. Even around some world famous universities there are communities of high crime rate.
As a result you should be more familiar with the surroundings of your campus and try to keep away from the dangerous places. In this case you will be safer and more assured about the campus life.
IV.Making the best of the office hours of professors and teaching assistants
Unless there is a conflicting schedule which makes you impossible to find a professor or teaching assistant to settle puzzles, you should for no reason be mired in your problems without turning for help for being fearful or some other reason. The universities specially set office hours to have professors and graduate students provide answers. Is there any reason why you do not make use of this time to get on good terms with such professors?