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Coming overseas to start graduate school in the US can feel overwhelming and scary. Take the time to visit the following centers and offices on your new campus within the first few weeks after you arrive. They can offer invaluable resources to help with a smooth transition.

International Student CenterYou will likely be required to check in here when you arrive on campus. They can also answer all your questions about your visa and other immigration related topics. The staff here is trained to understand the needs and challenges international students face and will be happy to help.

Health CenterYou will need to choose a US based health insurance plan. Look closely at each option for extent of coverage and cost. Most likely, your medical needs can be addressed at the campus health center but if you need a specialist, you may want to talk to the health center about coverage for your individual needs. Do your best to enroll in health insurance within the first week and rest easy knowing you will not incur large financial burdens in the case of a medical emergency.

Counseling CenterMost international students experience some degree of culture shock when they arrive in the US. It is normal to feel sad or lonely, stressed or overwhelmed. The counseling center has licensed staff who will talk to you confidentially and help you acclimate. In the US, seeking a counselor’s help is very common and even encouraged in times of need.

Student CenterThe Student Center (sometimes known as the Student Union or Student Commons) is a centrally located building where you will find places to eat, the bookstore, areas for social gathering and possibly services such as the post office, career center, student services offices, club offices and more. If you don’t have many social connections on campus when you first arrive, the student center is a great place to help you feel part of the campus community.

Writing CenterIf English is not your first language, the writing center can be an invaluable resource. They usually offer help with proofreading, tutoring and other types of writing support.

Career CenterAlthough international students don’t have the same employment opportunities as US citizens, there are options you can explore through the career center. The career center can also help you network, write resumes and cover letters, and more.

Interested in studying in the US? We can help! Contact us here to schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss your options.

About the author
Marc Zawel

As author of Untangling the Ivy League, Marc literally wrote the book on gaining admission to highly selective colleges. He earned a BA from Cornell University – where he met AcceptU’s co-founder – and an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Marc chaired the admissions advisory board; he has also conducted alumni interviews for Cornell for more than fifteen years.

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