Study abroad in the USA: tips and advice

04 August 2021
International students preparing dinner together in a brightly-lit kitchen

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity and one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. You will meet new people, get to know a new part of the world and build valuable life skills. Thinking of studying abroad in the U.S.? Don’t be nervous! With these tips you can look forward to an amazing new time in your life.

Tips and advice for students studying abroad

Make new friends

Making new friends can seem like a challenge, but it’s probably the most important thing you can do to make your new country seem like home. Having people to share your experiences with means you won’t feel lonely, you’ll try new things and you’ll make memories that last a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to talk to new people; challenge yourself to get out as much as possible and say ‘hello.’ You’ll probably find that they are just as nervous as you, and just as keen to make friends.

Become independent

Finding that you can live independently and look after yourself is one of the most rewarding elements of studying abroad. True independence is all about taking responsibility for your life and learning. By moving to a new country, you are stepping out of your comfort zone and therefore challenging yourself to adapt and enjoy all the opportunities offered to you. When you graduate, you will be a different person with new confidence and skills.

Study hard

While it is important to have fun during your time abroad, don’t forget the reason you’re there: to learn. Take pride in your studies and challenge yourself to be the best you can be. Studying in a new country and a new education system is a great way to broaden your knowledge and employers look favorably on it for this reason.

Set goals

What do you want to get out of your time abroad? Maybe you’d like to improve your English, meet new people, or practice being independent. Or your goals may be academic ones. Think about what you would like to achieve so that if things get challenging, you can remind yourself why you’re pushing on.

Learn the language

Speaking English as a second language will help you with travel, networking and finding jobs in the future. Although it’s key to concentrate on your language lessons, speaking to native students is the best way to practice your English. This way, you will pick up things you can’t learn from a textbook. Try to get involved in as many events as possible and practice saying ‘yes’ to opportunities. The more you do outside of the classroom, the better your English will get.

Don’t overspend

When you’re away from your parents and in charge of your own money for the first time, it can be tempting to buy things like clothes and takeout food. This seems fun at the time but could lead you to difficulties later if you start to run out of money. Try to set a budget and stick to it, while still allowing yourself some treats.

Explore

While it’s important to explore your new neighborhood, living in another country is also an opportunity to see more of the world. The USA is a huge place and there is so much to see and do across its 50 different states. It’s easy and affordable to catch a train or a plane somewhere on the weekend or during your breaks.

Apply now to study in the USA

The University of Hartford International Pathway Program offers specialized university preparation programs for international students. The International Year (for undergraduates) and Master's International Year (for postgraduates) offer a combination of English language teaching and support adjusting to the U.S. education system. You will study modules relating to your chosen degree so that when you complete your program, you can progress to your degree at the University of Hartford with confidence.

Get used to life in the U.S. in a supportive and multicultural environment, surrounded by other international students and experienced teachers. Apply now online.

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