Advice for International Students from International Students
Southern Adventist University welcomes students from around the world to #BeAPart of our university family. As of this moment, Southern hosts over a hundred international students on campus from over 30 countries, including Egypt, Bermuda, and Indonesia! This diversity is what makes our university so unique.
If you’re not from the United States but are thinking of studying at Southern, we’ve got some advice from you. We asked a number of our current international students for lessons they learned as they moved to a new country. Check our their responses below.
- “Never forget your I-20 if you travel out of the U.S.” –Inah from the Philippines
- "From one international student to another, LEARN. YOUR. COINS. When I first came to the States, I had no idea what a penny, dime, or nickel looked like. They looked similar to other coins in my country, but I never felt the need to learn them because carrying cash was such a pain. Swiping a card was so easy, and so I ended up not learning American coins. Now, almost a year later, I have a huge pile of coins sitting in my room because I’m too shy to admit that I don’t know them. Honestly, save yourself the trouble! Use your coins, and don't fall into the first-world trap of using cards for everything." –Sharlyn from Indonesia
- “Get involved as much as you can. Especially freshman/sophomore year while you have the time. You can always cut back on things, but it’s hard to add more. So get involved in everything. You won’t regret it." –Jared from Australia
- “Find out if the school’s finance department helps handle the tax forms of the country you’re from…. The office here fills out stuff I need for my Canadian forms, which helps a lot.” –Hannah from Canada
- “Life at college can be very stressful and will be different than what you are used to back at home. Don’t lose hope, because there are many international students and great advisers here help you adapt to life here and who will take you out to have fun once in awhile. Enjoy your time here at Southern! You’ll love it.” –Thomas from Ghana
- “People will look at you crazy wherever you go when you quote the temperature in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit… or when you go to Walmart and ask where the 'washroom' is." –Renee from Canada
- “Learn everything about your student visa. What you can and cannot do. Also, explore the country that you are in. You never know when you will get the chance to.” –Kevin from India
- “One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not a race to see who’s the best or smartest in class. It’s about helping people out where we can. Because at the end of the day, you and your classmates are going to lead tomorrow’s future. So we just help anyone where we can.” –RJ from the Philippines
- “Embrace your culture and heritage. Your unique upbringing enables you to see the world in different ways. Engage in meaningful conversations and share your experiences with others. Through these interactions, people will learn more about your heritage, values, and beliefs. The more we share, the more we learn about ourselves and others.” –Matthew Lopez from Saipan
To summarize, being an international student at Southern opens a host of opportunities for learning and growth… if you let it. Yes, you might be far from your home country, but by forming solid friendships and building a community, you can create your own home here.
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