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Ayad Describes His First Impressions of America: ‘People Here Are Very Supportive’

by Guest Post - Posts (66). Posted Thursday, August 1st, 2013 at 9:41 am

Ayad wrote in to share this account of his first few days in the States: It’s been a couple of days since I touched down here in America and I am just surprised and happy to see the kindness of people here and their will to help me as foreigner. Honestly people here are very […]

Tags: Posted in Uncategorized

The Anxiety, Nerves and Excitement of Your First Arrival: Keith’s Story

by Guest Post - Posts (66). Posted Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at 5:57 pm

The chaos of traveling. The mixed emotions of leaving your family. The fear and excitement of that moment when the plane takes off and it all becomes real. We’ve shared several stories of what it’s like to arrive in the U.S. for the first time, but perhaps none as vivid as this, submitted by Keith […]

Tags: , Posted in Culture Shock

The 3 Pieces of Advice I Thought I Didn’t Need (But Definitely Did)

by Sarah Bosha - Posts (4). Posted Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Before I left for the U.S., I attended all the orientations about what life would be like there.  I heard tons of useful advice about how to prepare, what to pack, and what to expect.   And like most people, I scoffed at some of that advice.  But boy I wish I hadn’t! Settling into Indiana […]

The U.S. in Words #1: In Hog Heaven (and More Ways to be Excited)

by Paula - Posts (11). Posted Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at 9:35 am

Editor’s note: Paula is an English as a Foreign Language teacher by training, so she’ll be sharing her experience in the U.S. through the phrases she’s learning, and the valuable words that describe her feelings and experiences.  So check back regularly for Paula’s special series, “The U.S. in Words.”  And don’t forget, if you’re looking […]

How Much Easier Does an English Guy Have it In the US?

by Tom Collier - Posts (6). Posted Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 11:51 am

When I first joined the Student Union, I quickly discovered that most of my fellow bloggers, and indeed most of our readers, were students from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, not from Western Europe like me, and certainly not from England. At first I thought this might be a problem. Do I really deserve […]

What to Wear on Your First Day at a US College

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 9:35 am

Students wearing Columbia University sweatshirts (Photo: Flickr user airsoexen) Starting your first year at a U.S. school and wondering what to wear to fit in with your classmates? Just curious about the fashion at U.S. universities? Thanks to the voyeuristic power of social media, we get to take a look at the first day outfits […]

5 Freshman Mistakes We Made That You Can Avoid

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

We’re not ashamed to admit it; we made some mistakes when we came to the U.S. for the first time.  We brought the wrong things, said the wrong things, and ate the wrong things. But hopefully you can learn from our mistakes.  Here are five mistakes we made in our first year that you should […]

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Getting to the US as a Wife and Mother: Sarah’s Story

by Sarah Bosha - Posts (4). Posted Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 at 11:19 am

We hear from many students who have faced unique challenges in studying in the U.S., but Sarah’s story is one we haven’t heard before.  She wrote to us to say that she was “over the moon” to receive her acceptance to Notre Dame University, but “the big question? How will we take the children calmly […]

From Zimbabwe to America: Learning to Adapt and Overcome

by Simbarashe - Posts (7). Posted Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 at 9:00 am

“Remember to keep warm when you get there. America is a cold place. And to call us daily. Don’t forget us.” These very words were the ultimate installment in a long series of many, many snippets of well-meaning advice from aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, cousins, passers-by, cousins of those passers-by, and anyone else who had […]

Battling with Language in the Far-Away Land of Minneapolis

by Promise Okeke - Posts (5). Posted Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 8:56 am

Am I the one? Am I the Promise who promised himself his Nigerian accent was not going to take a slip? I never would have believed I could so easily twist my tongue in an American twang. But let’s go back to the beginning. You might be asking, “How has the experience been so far?” […]

International Student Orientations Around the World

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Schools around the world are welcoming international students to their campuses, and posting the photos on Flickr to prove it. Check out some international student orientations around the world, courtesy of this slideshow, showing image results for the search “international student orientation.”

What to Pack for Your First Trip to the United States

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

In anticipation of the start of the new school year, bloggers from across the internet are sharing their tips for coming to the U.S. for the first time, and a lot of them are talking specifically about what to pack in your suitcases: – Make sure you know the weight limit for checked bags on […]

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Pete and Repeat are on a Boat…and Other Adventures in American Culture

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 8:51 am

Before summer vacation started, a bunch of our bloggers got together (via Skype) to chat about how their experiences over the past school year – the ups and downs, challenges and victories, and what they learned. We had some fantastic conversations, even digging into a few topics we hadn’t really covered in the blog posts […]

Top 5 Informational Posts: Start Here

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at 8:44 am

The final, and possibly most important, of our recaps looks back at the most informative posts we’ve done over the past year. If you’re just discovering this blog or just starting to think about studying in the U.S., these posts will be a good way to start. Top 5 most informative posts: #1) Applying to […]

Do You Know How to Give an ‘American Hug?’

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Thursday, April 14th, 2011 at 9:22 am

This funny and informative video supposedly comes from a Columbia Business School Orientation in 2008. Topics covered: (1) How to recognize an American; (2) how to greet an American you’ve just met; (3) how to greet an American after having a few beers. Videos from the rest of the presentation are on the uploader’s YouTube […]

Tags: , , Posted in Culture Shock
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Find definitions of confusing words and terms about studying in the U.S. in our Glossary of Confusing Words.

All the words were submitted by YOU, so visit the glossary to see the words that have been defined already and to suggest your own.