Thursday, February 12, 2015

The International Journey

What to Expect and how to Cope with your New Life.

Dear Friends,
Each year PLU welcomes around 150 international students from all over the world. This Spring Semester, we have been fortunate to welcome students from Norway, Denmark, India, and China.
                Welcome New International Lutes, Welcome! 

As we all know, the semester goes by extremely fast, and just after two weeks of classes, you might feel a little?

It’s totally fine!
This article is here for you!
From a personal experience, I intend to share with you, both new and prospective international students, a small insight about what to expect during your first weeks of school and how to adapt to your new life.

For many of you, leaving home for the United States, mainly for the purpose of studying, is an exciting experience: you will have the opportunity to meet and connect with people from different backgrounds, improve your language skills, and expand your career opportunities. However, small challenges might come along the way, impacting your personal growth. These challenges could be experienced from the core of your classrooms to your campus life. However, you may need to get used to different ways of doing things and find ways to adapt to this new situation.

during their first days of classes:

1-       Instructional Differences or Classroom challenges:

  It is totally fine that you find it different or more challenging than your home country. Here, classes are very interactive, indeed rigorous, and with so much to learn at the same time, and most of the time you are expected to be an independent learner. However, keep in mind that there are lots of resources that are here for you to help you succeed. I must say that most, if not all, professors are quite accessible and approachable, and the tutoring centers are also very helpful to facilitate your learning process.

2-      Language barrier: For some of you, English is not your first language. Yes, it could be challenging at first. Learning a new language always takes time, but hone your language skills by associating yourself with friends that can help you learn the language much quicker, once you are more immersed in the culture, this problem will go away.

3-      Culture shock:  At this stage, you might feel a little homesick: missing Food from back home, customs, traditions, climatic conditions, or even social atmospheres due to the differences. However, with time, this will also go away.

I honestly believe that all these challenges are part of the learning process and would help you understand how you, as an individual, would fit into this world.

As you go through these phases, here are (3) three ways to handle the challenges and enjoy your educational experience.

Be determined and focused in your goals!
Be sociable and outgoing!
But most important of all: Be Patient!

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. -Helen Keller
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Lau Tzu
Let’s have a wonderful Semester Guys.
Welcome and enjoy your stay here!
Your Friend,
Pape Mathioro Samba

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