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Tips for an easy transition as an International Student

Friday, October 26, 2018

Students Discussing Project

Moving across continents and oceans, moving your entire life to a new country - shouldn’t it be difficult? As I write this sitting in a study room with four classmates - two American, one Greek, and one Chinese - discussing a case study just a few weeks after coming to Purdue, I realize how easily I have adjusted here. It has not been such a huge shift for me. The U.S. is really welcoming and warm. The people, faculty, and my classmates have helped me through every step. Apart from driving on the other side of the road, I have settled in as easily as I could while moving to any new city. Sure, there has been change. But it’s been a smooth transition that is definitely manageable.

The few things to keep in mind for international students seeking to make a smooth transition to the U.S.:

Participation. Being in a competitive, culturally diverse learning environment can be tough to adjust to if you are coming from a homogenous class. Get out of your comfort zone and participate as much as possible because it is the quickest way to develop confidence. You will also find that the most impactful learning is in classroom and group dialogue.

Be nice and be open minded to differences, accept them, embrace them. It’s crucial in business school, and good for preparing you for the global business world.

The air conditioning. This one might seem odd, but it is hard to adjust to how every building is kept extremely cold. So even when bringing in summer outfits, don’t forget to carry light cardigans and jackets.

Explore. With hectic school hours, work, assignments, and job search, it’s easy to get lost in books and school work. Do not forget that you are in the U.S. Get out every other day, go to Lafayette, get into the town and explore. Eat different cuisines. Plan your long weekends ahead to travel the states. A little planning can help you achieve success at professional as well as personal front.

Plan your job search way beforehand. The market can get difficult to navigate, but with the right things done at the right time you can cut down a lot of stress for yourself and land yourself the job of your dreams.

Study in a group before class. Pursuing your MBA is not about self-study. You obviously have to be prepared before you study in a group, but take it a step further and before every class try to prepare pre-session cases in groups. This might not have been the case in India, but I learned how important it is to do so here. Pursuing your MBA is about learning from you classmates, and discussing cases and studies can help you gain a much deeper understanding of concepts. This practice will also help flex your teamwork and brainstorming skills as well.