Whether you’re an international student like the thousands of Indians who flock to US colleges every year, or a US-born student looking to make the most of your college experience, there are so many amazing opportunities available to you. From internships and research projects to extracurricular activities and travel, the possibilities are endless. In this blog post, we’ll share some must-do things for students in US colleges and universities
Picture this: you’ve just arrived on a college campus in the United States, with your heart full of excitement and your backpack full of dreams. You’re ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, one that will not only provide you with an excellent education but also countless opportunities to grow, explore, and make lifelong memories.
Starting a new course is always a journey full of excitement, nervousness and an equal temper of enthusiastic hearts. In this blog post, we’ll share some must-do things for students in a US college, along with some fun facts and figures along the way. So, buckle up and get ready to explore all that college life has to offer!
You see, studying in the US is an exciting opportunity for students looking to grow academically and personally. In addition to quality education, several student opportunities can enhance the overall college experience. Here are some must-do things that every student should consider during their time at a US college or university.
Right Off the bat, try and get Internships 🤝
Internships are a valuable way to gain hands-on experience in your field of study. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 65% of bachelor’s degree students participate in internships. It’s also a common fact that quite a few employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience. Participating in internships can not only increase your job prospects but also help you build your professional network.
If you want to stay within the university and the campus at large, you can explore various avenues that are available particularly for international students which not only provides valuable experience, but also assures a side income. If you have a passion for books and knowledge, becoming a Librarian can provide you with a unique opportunity to assist fellow students and immerse yourself in the world of academia. Additionally, many colleges offer on-campus internships in various departments, allowing you to gain practical skills and contribute to the university community. These internships not only channelize your energy and passion, but majorly assist in shaping & enhancing your resume. Embrace these internships as stepping stones towards your future success!
You can also participate in Research programs and research efforts 📈
Research is an essential part of academic life, and many professors have ongoing research projects. Particularly for the younger ones amongst us, as undergraduate students, you can get involved in research opportunities and gain valuable skills and experience. If you’ve been into research and theory earlier too – consider signing up as a Research Assistant, where you can work closely with professors on cutting-edge research projects
According to a study by the Council on Undergraduate Research, students who participate in research are more likely to graduate on time and go on to earn higher degrees.
And for the senior folks amongst us, stepping into the role of a Teaching Assistant (TA) is like unlocking a whole new level of opportunities in a US college. With this oportunity as a TA, you can work closely with professors, assist in grading assignments, facilitate discussions, and even lead your own class sessions. It not only deepens your understanding of the subject but also hones your communication and leadership skills. Being a TA offers a unique perspective on the teaching and learning process, allowing you to make a positive impact on your peers’ academic journey while gaining invaluable experience in education.
Got a flair for extracurriculars? Join Student Clubs and Organizations 🏆
Getting involved in student-led clubs and organizations is a great way to build leadership skills and make connections with like-minded peers. From political clubs to sports teams, there are countless options to explore. Participating in clubs and organizations are more likely to have a higher GPA and graduate on time. A few students led the research at Michigan University and were able to concur that students who participate in clubs and organizations are more likely to have a higher GPA and graduate on time. It’s a slightly old research paper, but the learnings are still valid! In fact, you can read it here
If the nerd in you is amazed by the facilities and the libraries, then take advantage of the many available Academic Resources 📚
This one’s for you, Geeks & Bookworms! Universities offer a variety of academic resources to help students succeed in their coursework. Writing centres, tutoring services, and professor office hours are just a few examples. According to a study by the National Survey of Student Engagement, students who use academic support services are more likely to have higher GPAs and graduate on time.
Participate in Sports Culture 🥇
Participating in sports is not just a great way to stay fit and also an opportunity to build community and have fun. According to a study conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, student-athletes have higher GPAs, graduate at higher rates, and have more successful careers after graduation. Even if you are not an athlete, attending sporting events and supporting your school teams can be a great way to get involved and show your school spirit.
Travel and Explore 🌎
Studying in the US provides students with an AMAZING opportunity to explore a new country and immerse themselves in a new culture. Travelling can be a great way to broaden your horizons and learn more about yourself. Additionally, many universities offer study abroad programs, providing students with the chance to study in different parts of the world and earn academic credit.
P.S: If you’re concerned about the budget then don’t worry. We did our fair share of research to find that the average budget for a week-long international trip among college students is around $1,500 USD. This includes airfare, accommodations, food, and activities. If this sounds costly or you feel like cutting down on costs, there are many ways to travel on a tighter budget, such as staying in hostels, using public transportation, and seeking out free or low-cost attractions!
Attend Career Fairs and Networking Events
As we’ve mentioned in our earlier blogs, STEM education can provide a significant advantage in the job market. However, regardless of your major, attending career fairs and networking events can help you make valuable connections and learn about job opportunities.
Many colleges and universities host these events, which typically invite & feature employers from various industries looking to hire new talent. Attending these events can give you a leg up on the competition by allowing you to speak with potential employers, learn about their hiring processes, and make a positive impression.
Student exchange is another great cultural melting pot! Many colleges and universities offer study abroad programs that allow students to spend a semester or year studying in a foreign country. These programs can be life-changing, both personally and academically. Not only do you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, but you also have access to unique academic opportunities that may not be available in the US. Additionally, studying abroad looks great on your resume, demonstrating your adaptability, independence, and willingness to take risks.
As we keep talking about so many activities that can absorb your attention and energy, It’s equally important to remember that one must not forget to enjoy their college experience. Attending college in the US is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it is essential to make the most of it. Take the time to explore the campus, attend sporting events, and participate in cultural activities. College is a time to discover new interests, make lifelong friends, and build lasting memories.
In conclusion, attending a college or university in the US can be a life-changing experience. With so many bright ideas and occasions to build academic and personal growth, it is almost a norm that YOU make the most of your time on campus. By taking advantage of the resources available, getting involved in extracurricular activities, and keeping an open mind, you can set yourself up for success and have a satisfying, fulfilling, endearing, exciting (you get the vibe now!) college experience.