Friday, May 28, 2010

A Dose Of Reality - some things you should know.

Tons of people want to live in this country, want to live the American Dream....

That dream can be yours, it is certainly attainable - with loads of hard work.

A lot of people think coming to the U.S. is the solution to all or most of their problems. Many people also think that life here is smooth sailing, with the occasional bump - my friends & I did.

We were so wrong. Life in the U.S. is tough, but it's a good kind of tough. You do it right, and living here will be a huge growing experience. 

I transferred to the U.S. as a sophomore, and back home, in my first year of college, I didn't have to work. I had a job in a newspaper, but that was really flexible, and I submitted articles when I wanted.

In the U.S, most international students want to work., have to work. Life is easier that way. We are only allowed to work 20 hours when we're taking classes, but we still do it. 

People will look down at you. 
They will ask you all sorts of ridiculous questions about your country of origin. 
Some of your professors may initially think you're dumb or more academically challenged because you just got here. 
You may find it difficult communicating with people if your English isn't so good. 
You may not get a job for months. 
All your credits may not transfer. 
You may have room mate issues. 
You may feel so terribly homesick that you'll be tempted to buy a ticket and go home.
American food may taste so awful to you that you'll puke.
The weather might depress you.
You may get broke.
You may get sick during a school break, and feel hopeless and helpless.
You may have to eat ramen noodles everyday during the week, when there's momma good cooking back home :)
During breaks, you may have no where to go. You may have to spend holidays here instead of being with your family and that sucks!!

All these are things that happen to international students. Things that have happened to me, my friends and people I know, Some of them could not cope, gave in to the emotional stress of it all and collapsed.

When you get here and if this happens to you, always remember - it will get better.  As cliche as that may sound, it is true. There are millions of international students out there who have gone through what you will experience and survived - you will not be different.  

Hugs & Kisses



  1. hmmmm sounds tough & interesting. Fngers crossd that I get accepted.

  2. Thanks for the motivation!

    Visa Interview in four days... So nervous!

  3. Oh no, don't freak out. You'll do fine - just prepare adequately!! Don't look too excited lol. Best wishes, please tell me how it goes...

  4. Thank you :)
    It's nice that you replied so promptly as well!
    I will be sure to tell you how it goes. If I never post here again, I prolly never get through and I died from depression lol =[

  5. lol. . . oh gosh hahaha, it'll be ok. I hope it works out well for you.

  6. Hey, I just came home. I made a thread on CC. Can you please check it out and comment? I actually found your blog from CC:

  7. Got my visa! Gotta uplift it in two days.

    Thanks! :)

  8. Oh wow, congrats!! How psyched are you right now? When I got mine, it felt kinda unreal for a few days, more like a few weeks lol...but my mum started freaking out from day 1, infact when I got out of the embassy after my interview and told her that the Officer said I was gonna get it the next day, she started freaking out in the middle of the street lol....totally awesome!! Congrats again!!

  9. well i am just relieved!!! after being put under administrative processing i can only breathe a sigh of relief.

    i am veryyyyyyyyyyy pumped!!! wow! this is basically the last step to get to america. after that, it's dealing with a new culture and college life!

    thank you soo much for this blog :)

  10. Oh yeah, this is just the beginning. Keep me posted, tell me how it goes!!

  11. Wannabehomesick, you mentioned here that you transferred in your sophomore year. Where exactly did you transfer from? What were you doing before you transferred? Did you transfer to a Liberal Arts College? Will your graduation take more time now than when you hadn't transferred? Did you apply for aid? And how did you narrow down the colleges that you thought might accept you?

    I'm also thinking of applying as a transfer from Pakistan. I've started looking aroung but I'd really value any kind of information you can give me.

  12. Hi, I transferred from Africa, I had just completed semester 1 of my sophomore year and then transferred to a liberal arts college.

    Yes, I ought to graduate about a semester later than I should. But, taking summer classes cancels out that extra semester and could help me graduate a semester early.

    I did not apply for any form of aid. I have a post on financial aid, if that's the route you want to take.

    I narrowed down colleges based on the program they offered (my major), and how much they cost.

    I wasn't looking at Ivy League schools. The thing that a lot of people don't get is that once you get into the U.S, it is easier to get into a school of your choice, than coming in from another country. Be it for undergrad or grad.

    You could go to an ok school, do really good and go to an Ivy League grad school or any equivalent, if that makes any sense.

    My focus now is to excel in my undergrad, have on paper everything an Ivy League grad school requires and take it from there.

    Feel free to ask any more questions.

  13. I won't be looking at Ivy Leagues except for maybe cornell or brown. I'm focusing mainly on LACs too. What were you doing back in Africa? Were you pursuing a career degree? Or was the curriculum similar to that of a Liberal Arts Program?

    Thanks for your response. I'll check out your post on financial aid too to get a better idea of what it'll be like.

  14. Also, did you have a GPA system back home? If not, how did you get credits for your courses?

  15. I was an Economics & Public Administration major. Now, I'm an Energy Economics & Finance major. My university back home has a curriculum similar to my current university, so transferring wasn't a problem.

    The GPA system works just like the USA, only difference is that it is a 5.0 system, instead of a 4.0 system. But, we still used the credits system, and all my credits got transferred.

    What gives most transfer students an additional semester or 2 are the general education requirements in the USA. An Economics major won't just take Economics classes, but general classes such as history, english, science, etc.