Student life in the United States is an incredibly unique experience, especially when compared to the experience that you may get in a country like the United Kingdom or Canada. This is likely due to the fact that many students who obtain a secondary school education in the United States end up going on to university, and it is considered a part of the process of “growing up” in American culture.
The independence and adventure associated with going to university is going to rub off on you, even if you are an international student in the United States.
Take Advantage of This Time in Your Life
One of the best pieces of advice that we have for any college student is that, no matter whether you decide to go to the United States or another country to study or not, make sure that you get involved. Enjoy every opportunity that you have available at your university, even outside of your field of study. When studying abroad, it’s important to take advantage of everything because you may never have those opportunities again.
The United States is a very diverse country and there is a lot to see and enjoy while you are there. Make connections and see if you can find places that are off the beaten path and learn more about the area that you reside in. Just get involved and do everything that you can.
Unlike most international universities, many colleges and universities in the United States offer on-campus housing that is not in the middle of a town. Most college campuses in the United States are their own separate areas of a town, and they have dormitories that their undergraduate (and sometimes graduate) students can reside in. These dormitories become small communities, where you can meet other people who attend the university and enjoy particular activities with the people in your residence hall.
So, you’ve hit the weekend and you’ve got some free time. What do you do? Many college towns have a lively nightlife, with bars and clubs that you can enjoy. Unlike most countries, the drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age, so even though you may be able to drink when in your home country, you cannot in the United States unless you are 21. This may limit your involvement in the night life, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy.
Many restaurants and pubs in college areas are open until late in the evening on the weekends, so you can go get a bite to eat with some friends if you wish.
There are also a number of live events that occur on the weekends across college campuses and in college towns. Make sure to check out the websites for the area that you live in; you may be able to find fun festivals and other activities to check out during the year. Most states have a state fair that you may be able to check out as well. The activities may also change with the seasons; if you are in the northeast, you can ski in the winter, go to festivals in the spring, enjoy outdoor sports in the summer and go to the fair in the fall. In the south, you can enjoy beaches year round. The activities available to you are highly dependent on the region you live in and what time of year it is.
If you are looking for more things to do while studying in the United States, check out our pages on “10 Places You Must See,” “On-Campus Activities,” and “Sports and Entertainment.” These pages will give you more information about what you can do during your free time while studying in the United States.
There is always something to do during your time in the United States; you just need to take the time to explore the possibilities and make connections so you can enjoy those activities with friends and colleagues.