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Welcome to College in the USA… Surprise!

Many students are surprised to find themselves in a whole new world once they get to college in the USA. Life as they know it has been turned upside down overnight with new and many new and exciting aspects to adapt to life abroad. Don’t be taken by surprise, know what to expect!


Dialect and Dialogue in Cities

college rules for ESLSome students may experience a surprise with layouts and setups of larger cities. Students from the more rural areas may feel like a small fish in a big pond when they arrive in a big city but likewise a student who is from a larger city that goes to a college in a smaller town may feel like a big fish in a little pond which can leave them feeling as if there is no room to grow. Even the amount of how much a person talks, how well they listen, lingo, and accents will vary depending upon the city the college is located in. Local accents that vary by region can be difficult to understand at first but this is something the student will get used to and communication will improve.

Most Americans tend to shut down in the face of conflict rather than keep talking. Students from some areas though may feel it is necessary to continue conflict to get their point across. Conversation is made up of sending and receiving messages meaning there is a speaker and a listener who take turns sharing these tasks.

Most Americans have a good sense of humor, which is included in the way they talk. This should never be taken as a sign of disrespect but rather a sign of being comfortable with the person they are speaking with. It could even be an icebreaker leading to long lasting friendships.


Religion and Politics

Sharing religious and political ideas must be approached cautiously and with a great deal of respect. Many people are sensitive about their views and they can vary greatly from person to person. However no matter how different all religious and political ideas must be treated equally with respect. It is okay to disagree but sometimes people have to agree to disagree.

Most individuals are tolerant of other religions since there is not one set religion in America. A wide variety of customs and beliefs are widely accepted by most. Likewise patriotism from one’s country is generally accepted and may even be intriguing to some American students but it is not wise to point out constantly point out flaws in the American ways or how another country may be more favorable in some ways. If the international student is interested and accepting of the ways in America most American students will become interested in the international student’s country as well. This can be great learning and awareness for both groups.


Remember Your Manners

Etiquette especially in the classroom is huge. Professors expect college students to share ideas and be supporting. Some students’ perspectives may vary from one another or even the professor but it is okay. Everyone is expected to participate. How will you participate?

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