Indian Students' Guide: First Month in the US

Lorien Finance
Lorien Finance

We know how much your dream to study in the U.S. means to you. But we also know that shifting base to another country is not an easy task. There are several things that Indian students grapple with adjusting during their first few weeks in America. New people, new climate, new culture, new friends. It can be a little too much to take in all at once. Especially if you’re close to your family, and given that you’re Indian, it’s a safe bet to assume that you are. That’s why one needs to acclimate themselves before stepping foot in the land of the free. Both India and America are deeply set in their ways and that’s partially the reason why both countries have such strong values. But if you switch from one nation to the other, you need to come prepared. That’s why we’ve created a cheat sheet for you. A survival guide for the average Indian student to survive their first month in the U.S. Long story short, if you follow these steps, your transition to the U.S. will be a smooth and easy journey.

1. Do Your Research

This goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway – there’s no such thing as too much research when you’re about to shift to a new country, that too for 2 years. Firstly, you’ll need to know about the climate of the place you’ll be living in and pack accordingly. If the area you’re living in has peak summers and peak winters, you’ll need to come with a wide variety of summer cotton to winter wools. If you know someone, like a friend or a relative, who’s already living in the same area, get in touch with them to get all kinds of information. How long do monsoons last? Is there going to be snowfall? How much does the temperature fluctuate? No question is too small. Apart from this, we suggest you also do a quick dipstick on the internet and find out if there are any Indian stores near your locality. You’ll need it to replenish your groceries and spices. In addition to that, you may want to get in touch with your university counsellor and find out about more Indian students who’ll be attending the college with you. We’re not saying that you need to always stick together as a clan and not mingle with people from other backgrounds, but it helps to have a little relatability during the initial days.

2. Brace Yourself for The Culture Shock

If you take the first step right, your research will tell you that America differs from India in many ways. For instance, the option of vegetarianism is not widely available when it comes to food choices. Although American states are catching the new wave of veganism quite rapidly, it’s still difficult to find variety in veg food. So, if you’re a vegetarian, we’d suggest you already figure out a game plan beforehand. Another thing that comes across as a shock for most Indians is that cabs are a luxury for the elite. The public uses the subway metros and other public transport daily to get from point A to point B. If we come down to listing it all, we’ll need another blog to write all the things that can come to you as a culture shock about the U.S. But more on that later.

3. Get a Job Right Away

If you’re a student in the U.S., chances are you will have to do a part-time gig or two to maintain your daily expenses. America is not a cheap country so it’s a common sight in the U.S. for students to do part-time jobs to earn a little extra pocket money. And unlike in India, doing a small job as a busboy at a restaurant isn’t looked down upon. So, don’t go down the road of what people will say. Doing a part-time job in college will teach you a valuable lesson in money and time management. No amount of theoretical reading can give you that. So it’s vital that you get your hands dirty and get a job right away to support yourself while studying.

4. Open a Bank Account

A wise person would get a bank account in the country as soon as they land to pay their bills and keep their money safe. But a wiser person would get a bank account even before landing in the U.S. Ask how? With the help of Lorien Finance, we help Indian students open a U.S. bank account and provide a debit card, so you can easily manage all your finances without the hassle of lugging the extra cash. The best part is that you don’t need a social security number or a past credit history to open a bank account. You can read more about our U.S. bank account here. (backlink)

5. Network to Make Things Work

If you’re a foreign student in the U.S., this will be crucial in deciding how the next 2 years of your life pan out. Not only from a professional standpoint but even a social point of view. If you’re an introvert who doesn’t like to initiate conversations, you’ll have to work and build your communication skills. You can’t survive two years in a foreign land by staying in your bubble. It’s important to socialize from the get-go and find your tribe in the coming months. It’ll not only help you to find like-minded friends but will also open more academic opportunities. The more you engage with your classmates, faculty, and professors, the more opportunities will come your way.

6. Learn to Cook

If there’s one thing that you should take from the blog, without a doubt, it’s this. No other skill is as essential to survive in the U.S. as cooking. You can’t survive every day on take-out food. It’s better to prepare your meals and eat healthier, richer food. It’ll not just save you money but will also make you self-reliable in the eyes of your peers and family. Not to mention, if you are not a meat eater, you will have a tough time finding eateries in America that serve pure vegetarian food. It’ll be like finding a needle in a haystack.

7. The Anti-Homesick Starter Pack

There will inevitably come a day, possibly in the first week, when you will be washed over with a sudden wave of homesickness. A longing for home and a feeling like you don’t belong. That’s why it is essential to stay in touch with your family and friends back home and carry a little piece of home around with you to remind you of your roots. It could be your mother’s perfume, a locket with a picture of your parents, a bedsheet, or even a bottle of pickle. Objects hold memories and they will help you hold on to your home. More than anything, it’s essential to stay true to your identity and loved ones no matter where you are. Anyone traveling to a new country is bound to need a couple of days to adjust to a new way of living. There will be things you learn and discover on your own; there will be days when you will be scared or intimidated. But the critical thing to remember is that it’s a learning process and that you are not alone in all of this. There are many people out there willing to show you the way if you’re eager to extend your hand.


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