I sat in Raynor library this weekend and noticed two things: 1) that the library was relatively full for a holiday weekend and 2) numerous freshmen conversations to parents assuring them that were okay, that they’d come home over the holiday weekend, etc., were taking place. The most interesting conversation was of a student whose roof had apparently collapsed and was venting to his parents on the phone. I wish him the best as he figures that out, but I also hope he learns quickly to be more respectful of his fellow students’ time in the library – that was a loud conversation!
Either way, I was struck by the fact that, after four years out of school, I still could not identify with those students whose experience was to call mum and dad in the case of an emergency, and expect them to be on campus relatively soon. I realized then that there are probably many international students experiencing a similar disconnect this week as they move onto campuses across the country.
And so I wanted to wish a warm welcome to all international students who begin their college experiences this fall. In the next few years, you’ll discover so much about yourself and your own culture, there’ll be good days and awful days – but it’s a truly amazing adventure!
Please consider us as another resource as you try to navigate your new life. We’ve interviewed quite a few people who have been where you are now and have compiled some tips that we hope you’ll find useful. We’re also more than happy to answer any questions you have about your transition! Let us know if you’d like to share any aspects of your experience too – sharing is caring . And if you live in the Milwaukee area and need a tour guide, we’re only an email or tweet away!
The Bureau of Consular Affairs recently posted a video with tips on how to apply for a U.S. student visa with David Donahue, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services. He gives three main tips:
1. Apply early. I’d say that every time there is paperwork, whatever the situation, you should start the process as early as possible.
2. Be informed. Visit not only travel.state.gov but also the website of the U.S. embassy in your country.
3. Be prepared, which pretty much means bring all possible paperwork to the interview: I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, financial documents, housing documents, etc. You can find more information here and here.
Good luck with your studies in the USA!