There is a lot more to the college experience than the classroom. In the U.S., College campuses offer endless opportunities to get involved as well. In order to become more connected to your school and make new friends at the same time, it is the (international) student’s responsibility to seek out all resources your college offers.
We at peerTransfer will give you three reasons why and how to go about them.
Since not only international students are leaving their family and sometimes their friends behind, getting involved in college will help you find new friends with similar interests. Remember that even though everyone is different, you’re all in the same boat, so take risks.
1. Become connected to your school
Getting involved at your college is part of what your college experience is about, as well. If you have a 4.0 GPA, but you didn’t do anything on campus to get involved, then your degree doesn’t amount to what it could have been.
Whether you go to your schools office or search online, most universities have some sort of involvement center that lists all organizations and gives you information on how to get involved. If in doubt on whether to take up a new sport or new activity like acting or public speaking, always give it a try. You have nothing to lose, only to gain – even if that means finding out you’re not the next Hollywood Star.
2. Discover your passions and strengths
Knowing what your strengths and passions are will follow international students all through life. It allows you to discover what you don’t like, too. So get to know your school calendar and sign up for classes, sports and activities you think you could have at least a slight interest in. Becoming good at something, whether it is being involved in your sorority, becoming a student ambassador or finding out you’ve got a pretty good serve in Tennis, can be some of the most rewarding experiences you will have when coming to college.
3. Build your community, network and your resume
Especially when you have only started college, Freshman year is not too soon to begin thinking about positioning yourself for future employment.
Involvement on campus shouldn’t be solely restricted to permanent positions or groups. Be on the lookout for temporary activities too, like service projects or campus event planning. Find out if there is an involvement or community service newsletter that you can subscribe to in order to stay up to date on the latest opportunities. This way you get to meet many people in different areas, add them to your linked in profile, build relationships with them. And who knows, you may find yourself moving toward one or the other industry and having made connections early on may be the gateway to getting the job you want after college.
Whatever you choose to sign up for, try to keep an open mind and go out of your comfort zone, as sometimes those are the most rewarding experiences.
Be proactive NOW and go get ’em!