First of all, it is an exciting moment for all international students who come to a new school! But as an international student, we are not ONLY coming to a different school but a different culture. Since we are only in the USA for a limited time, international students must adjust quicker and make every moment count while studying abroad. But how do we do that? Is making connections/friends with new people from different continents/countries that hard when studying abroad?
Nope, it is easier than most people think! At my school (Our Lady Of Good Counsel) we have a global buddies program that pairs American students who are willing to help to international students. That was a good start for me because I got to know a couple of people before school started! I was also trying to find other international students which I felt comfortable with too, BUT I quickly understood I needed to bond everyone! Instead, I found American students I already knew and met their friends! That worked really well because apparently, we are all human and we all want to make friends (what a coincidence!)
At Our Lady Of Good Counsel, the classes are a little bit shorter on the first day. BUT you have all eight classes on the first day so you can meet everyone and your teachers. After bonding with several students, I went into my first class which was Junior Religion. Announcing the start of class, the teacher started to get into the lesson plan for the year and we introduced ourselves. We had resource time after class so I went to the Global Buddies Office. There I could find other international students and the coordinator of the international student’s program. I sat for a little while and then I went to my next class, which was British literature. Like my religion class, I told people where I was from, introducing myself and greeted new people (it is fun I guarantee.) Then it happened to be lunch. In school, everyone has separate lunches, for example some people enter their classes at the same time people go their lunch. It’s made for people to have a great lunch and relax. I had to find the other international students, which was easy because everyone went to global office immediately. We had lunch and then we went to classes and finished the day.
The image I had BEFORE starting my first day of school was different than the day I had. For example, I had no idea about what to expect. I was worried I was going to miss a class or just be awkward. In the end, it turned out well because I was just myself. You really don’t need to act differently, just be yourself!