International Student Orientation for Foreign Students in USA
International Students at US Colleges: Percentage of Foreign Students and Countries Represented
Before applying to any school in the USA, you may want to look into how many foreign students are already enrolled there. It is useful to know in advance whether international students are well represented, or if they are in the great minority, with just a few appearing from different countries. You might feel very lonely in such an environment, and special support services for you, such as international student orientation for foreign students, may be limited.
U.S. News Online lists information about the international student population at US colleges and universities in its database, including the percentage of foreign students, the countries represented, and international student organizations. This site also lists the national colleges and universities with the largest proportion of international students at the undergraduate level. Many guidebooks on US colleges and universities also offer similar information.
International Student Organizations at US Colleges
In addition to the international student orientation programs and offices available at many US colleges, international student organizations, including clubs that foreign students form themselves (representing their various countries), are very common on US college campuses. Many of them also have websites (accessible from their school’s site). Once you are interested in a college, you may want to see if there is an international student club representing your country there, and even ask the club (online) about conditions at the college. For example, the University of Michigan has 47 international student clubs comprised of foreign students from around the world.
Once you arrive at school, you will find that many US colleges also have an international students union where you can congregate with other foreign students, make friends, and learn from their experiences.
International Student Orientation at College
Many US colleges and universities provide special orientation sessions for international students. For example, Oklahoma State offers a week of orientation at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters to help international students adapt to their new environment. During orientation sessions at the College of William and Mary, the school gives international students a tour of the area around the school and even assists them in securing social security numbers. The College of William and Mary also has a highly informative international student’s manual to assist its international students.
For a discussion of the cultural differences many international students experience, see Coping with Culture Shock.