We frequently get questions about how American culture and student life is different in the US compared to other countries. The short answer is that it can be quite different simply because you are learning to live in a completely new and exciting environment. But remember, you are never alone. Past international students had the same concerns and questions you have now. We anticipate these concerns and have resources in place to help you adjust to a new culture and thrive at a truly global learning institution. Below are 8 resources Mizzou offers to help international students adjust to living in the US.
- MU International Center: This is the place for all things international on Mizzou campus and should be your first stop on campus. The center facilitates International Welcome Week each semester for incoming international students. The program is meant to help get to know your peers, Mizzou campus and community resources, as well as help you with cultural adjustments. Throughout your time at Mizzou you can consult with them regarding visa questions, assistance with cultural adjustments, how to get involved in activities, and if they can’t answer a questions you have they can point you to a resource that can!
- Learning Strategies Course: The course is taught by coordinators from the International Center and focuses on strategies and tools new international students can use to make their transition onto campus and American life easier. In-class, they cover topics like note-taking, how to study, and English vocabulary expansion, however students are also required to get to know people outside of class by attending campus and community events, and “hanging-out” with a domestic student – one of the students’ favorite assignments! It’s a great way to get to know other international students, American classroom culture, and how to immerse yourself in your new home.
- Student and Cultural Organizations: Mizzou has more than 700 student organizations. And we have been named to President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with 23,000 of our students performing more than 940,000 hours of service in the Columbia community. If you want to join a cultural organization to feel a little closer to home or if you want to join one more aligned with your interests and hobbies, go for it! Getting involved in organizations is one of the best ways to meet people with common interests and overcome anxiety about being away from home.
- Campus and Community Events: Mizzou and the Columbia community are outstanding when it comes to providing students and residents world-class events, from Broadway musicals, concert series and festivals to student organized events like International Night and India Nite. There is always something going on and one of the many things that makes Columbia a unique and vibrant place to live.
- International Students’ Career Services: Managed by trained coordinators and career specialists, the nationally-recognized ISCS has assisted over 6,000 international students in career advising since its inception in 2005. It’s a culturally sensitive career service center for international students. From helping you search for an internship/job to preparing for the interview, the ISCS is there to help you navigate the process of interning or working in America by providing an area where international students can come and ask any questions they have. Click here to see how they helped Dawei “Tom” Li, an engineering student from China.
- The MU Writing Center: The center was established in 1977 and helps thousands of Mizzou students each year. Writing tutors can meet with you in person or you can submit your writing online. Tutors come from every academic background and can assist with any type of writing assignment you have: academic essays, personal statements, scholarship applications, literature reviews, creative projects, lab reports, and more.
- The Counseling Center: The Counseling Center offers students resources that promote personal, intellectual, and psychological well-being. They offer students free assistance in the areas of crisis and emergency, individual counseling, and group counseling. So whether you are stressed out over a class or something bigger, this is a resource that can help you overcome so you can thrive at Mizzou.
- Classmates and professors: Classes in the US are very interactive, with a lot of work carried out through classroom discussions or group work. It’s absolutely okay and expected for you to talk to or email your professor if you are struggling in class or need clarification. Professors hold office hours where you can schedule a meeting to go in and talk with them about class. Most US students are also aware that classroom culture in the US and other countries can be different, so feel free to ask them for notes and advice too. It can be challenging, but once you open yourself up, it will get much easier and you’ll probably make friends in the process and get a good recommendation letter from the professor.
Studying abroad is one of the top ways to make yourself competitive in our increasingly globalized environment. From alums like Tim Nowak and Jose Gutierrez, that are now leaders in the international marketplace to current students taking advantage of all the opportunities Mizzou has to offer, you can be assured that Mizzou has the resources in place to help you grow into a globally competitive student and graduate.
Mizzou’s Office of International Admissions manages missouriglobal.org. To keep up to date with the latest information about studying in the USA, look us up on Facebook and Twitter. And if you have any questions please email us. We look forward to hearing from you