Ivana De Luca/Guest Columnist
Dear International Students, welcome to Florida International University!
As an international student myself, I went through a series of academic, cultural and linguistic adjustments, and it took me a while to figure out how to deal with the hard times that came with that transition.
When moving to another country, especially in the beginning, we may experience home sickness, and we might get frustrated with regulations that apply to us. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it all gets better once you learn how to adapt to this new lifestyle.
Miami is the best city to live in if you are an international student. The city not only embraces younger generations, but it also allows you to feel at home due to its wide cultural diversity. You will find amazing spots to spend your free time with friends, such as going to the beach in South Beach, enjoying street art in Wynwood, or just hanging around on a Friday night in a bar in Downtown Brickell.
But remember, the legal age to consume alcohol and go to nightclubs in the U.S. is 21 years old. For those who enjoy museums, Miami is full of them: Vizcaya Museum, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Perez Art Museum, and The Wolfsonian. You can also enjoy shows and events at the American Airlines Arena and at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts.
Good weather days allow outdoor activities which can be done at places such as South Pointe Park and Bayfront Park. Got bored and want to go beyond Miami to have fun? No worries! Orlando and the Florida Keys are right next to us, just keep in mind to plan a safe trip.
However, be aware to put your academic life first. Because you have a different background, you may encounter challenges on the American teaching method.
Therefore, follow these tips: attend class regularly and arrive on time; do your assigned readings before each class; complete assignments in advance and be organized with due dates; find a good place to study and have a defined study time in order to be prepared for exams; and the most important: collaborate and engage in class discussions.
If you are shy, pay full attention and make notes. Also, engage in group activities, clubs, and events that FIU has to offer, it is not only a good start to make friends, but also to network with professionals.
In addition, international students must comply with the regulations that come with an F1 Visa in order to maintain their status. Each and every international student must always contact and update the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office in case of any doubt or changes that might come along their stay in the United States.
Studying in the U.S. leads to great opportunities worldwide, so make sure to enjoy and to take advantage of the knowledge you’ll receive from this unique experience.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Featured photo by Nicole Malanga/PantherNOW.