Adjusting 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 to pursue a higher education degree.
You not only have to adjust to the new environment, but also concentrate on 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 tips for incoming 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 autumn chills, and technically, no spring since all the vegetation in Florida is in full bloom all year round. However, it wouldn’t hurt to carry a small umbrella because there are bouts within the year where the climate seems to favor the 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 Forbes, the relative humidity in Florida ranges from 70-80%. For students coming from another state in the US or a different country, adjusting to Florida weather could take some time.
2. Avoid Dehydration
It is highly recommended to drink plenty of water. The heat from the Florida sun combined with high humidity levels can quickly lead to dehydration.
Some of the symptoms of dehydration are:
- Confusion & fatigue
- Muscle cramps
- Lack of sweat
- Increased thirst & dry mouth
These symptoms are the body signaling for more liquids. An effective way to avoid this is to buy a reusable water bottle to keep at all times. This is also a great way to save money and it’s better for the environment.
3. Proximity: Choose Wisely
Students need to take into consideration where they want to live while attending college at FNU. Typically, the closer you can be to campus, the better. FNU has two campuses: one in Miami, one of the most highly populated cities in Florida, and the other in Hialeah. 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, keep in mind the location, as you won’t want to spend two hours in traffic each day.
4. Develop a Good Relationship with College Roommates
Having a good roommate is just as important as being in close proximity to your campus. As a college student, you could be initially living with a stranger. Students need to be able to trust who they are living with. It may be helpful to choose a college roommate who is more familiar with the area so they can help you become more acclimated to your new home.
5. 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.
Students coming to the US should do as much research on the culture as possible, and not only the country, but also the area where they plan to study. For instance, if prospective students plan to attend a college or university in South Florida, then research that area.
With the technology of social media, it is possible to even make friends in the area where you know you’ll attend school. However, when communicating through social media, use caution, as some profiles can be fake. This is where taking advantage of the university’s resources becomes useful.
6. Use Campus Resources
Florida is a big place. So, while adjusting to college life in South Florida, 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 is to 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 as smooth as possible. 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!