Adjusting to College Life in South Florida: 6 Tips for Incoming International Students

Buildings in front of Miami beach on Ocean DriveAdjusting to life anywhere other than one’s own home can be quite the transition for any student. Florida National University (FNU) realizes that it can certainly be an overwhelming experience for international students coming into the United States (US) to pursue a higher degree of education.

One not only has to adjust to his or her environment, but also concentrate on his or her academic studies. A student’s academic performance can have a direct relation to how well one adjusts to their environment.

That is why FNU is supplying our students with 6 useful tips for international students to seamlessly adjust to their college life in South Florida. 

  1. Adjusting to the Beautiful Tropical Weather 

Florida is known for its tropical climate. This state is unique because it’s basically a massive peninsula in close proximity to the Caribbean nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast. One shouldn’t expect to see any seasonal changes in the climate. There is no snow, no brisk chills that autumn brings, and technically, no spring since all the vegetation in Florida is in full bloom all year around. However, it wouldn’t hurt to carry a small umbrella because there are bouts within the year where the climate seems to favor rainy season a little more, but that is expected in such tropic conditions.

It could be said that this sounds like paradise. However, tropical weather can take some getting used to. According to Current Results, the relative humidity in Florida ranges from 54-91%. For students coming from another state in the US, adjusting to Florida weather takes a little time to acclimate to. 

  1. Avoid Dehydration 

It is highly recommended to drink plenty of water. Heat from the Florida sun combined with high humidity levels can quickly lead to dehydration.

Some of the symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • dry mouth
  • sluggishness
  • increase thirst

These symptoms are the body signaling for more liquids. An effective way to avoid this is to buy a plastic water container to keep at all times. This is a great way for students to save money. They won’t have to pay $2-$4 dollars on bottled water—just find the nearest water fountain or even go to a soda fountain where filtrated water is dispensed. 

  1. Proximity: Choose Wisely 

Students need to take into consideration where they want to live during their college career. Typically, the closer one can be to his or her campus, the better. FNU is located in Miami, one of the most highly populated cities in the state of Florida. While public transportation is available, it is strongly recommended to choose a living space that is in close proximity to the campus.

Florida has a lot of traffic. As a college student, time needs to be strategically managed. So when selecting a home for one’s academic career, be careful not to fall in love with the space so much as you don’t want to spend 2 hours in traffic each day! 

  1. Develop a Good Relationship with College Roommate 

Having a good roommate is just as important as being in close proximity to one’s campus. As a college student, chances are one might be initially living with a stranger. Students need to be able to trust who they are living with. One thing to keep in mind when meeting one’s college roommate is that he or she is also new to his or her new environment. In most situations, that has been enough to break the ice! 

  1. Prepare to Experience Culture Shock 

When traveling from one country to live in another for academic purposes, students should expect to come across certain customs and cultures that are different from their own. In fact, if at all possible, one should actually prepare him or herself to be shocked, if at all possible!

Students coming to the US should do as much research on the culture as possible, and not only the country, but also the actual area where one plans to study. For instance, if prospective students plan to attend a college or university in South Florida, then research that area as well.

With the technology of social media, it is possible to even make friends in the area where one knows he or she will attend school. However, when communicating through social media, use caution, as not every profile on the Internet is accurate. This is where taking advantage of the university’s resources becomes most useful. 

  1. Use Campus Resources 

Florida is a big place! So while adjusting to college life in South Florida, the safest way is to take advantage of the resources that a college or university provides.

The first thing an international student should do when attending a new college or university anywhere in the world is attend the school’s orientation session and campus tours. These types of events are developed to provide a safe and comfortable environment for students to socialize, meet new people, and possibly make new friends.

Campus orientations are also where students can become acquainted with their guidance counselor, professors, and learn about what kind of student organizations are available for them to join.

FNU: Your Welcoming Committee to College Life! 

FNU desires to see students from all over the world obtain a quality education from an accredited university. We strive to make every one of our international students transition to college life in the US with ease. Prospective students who are interested in more information about becoming a student in the US, visit our official FNU International page or get the application process started now and apply to FNU today!