How to Study and Succeed in the U.S. as an International Student - Best Value Schools

How to Study and Succeed in the U.S. as an International Student

Choosing to study in a foreign country can be exciting and rich with opportunities. If you are an international student, then you can maximize your time abroad by preparing ahead of time. This guide will help international students prepare for a successful study experience in the U.S.




One of the most difficult parts of studying abroad is paying for all of it. Consider how much housing, food, tuition and other expenses will be. Will there be availabilities for employment? Are there scholarship opportunities that international students can apply for before they come to America?


Here are some helpful tips on how international students can find funding:


  • Research the university you will be attending. Look up their financial aid website. Most universities have scholarships exclusively for international students. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the university’s financial aid office. They will point you in the right direction.
  • If you have citizenship in the U.S., then seek to become a resident in the state where you will be studying. This way you can qualify for in-state tuition, which is almost always lower than out-of-state tuition.
  • Never pay to apply for a scholarship. Scholarships should have a free application.
  • Check out this article by the U.S. News on which American universities offer the most financial aid to international students.
  • IEFA has a large database of financial aid opportunities. Visit their site to learn of scholarships and loans available to international students.
  • If international students want to work while studying in the U.S., this site will walk them through the logistics and available employment options.


Life Balance:

As a student, you have many responsibilities and commitments. You try juggling your studies with work, friends, and family. You end up trying to just keep all the balls in the air at the same time, but one of the most important things an international student learns is how to balance. Strictly studying can be really overwhelming–you need breaks, hobbies, and social experiences.


Here are some ideas on how to balance everything as an international student:

  • Set aside specific time each day to study. Keep that time dedicated only to schoolwork. When coming to the U.S. for education, being a student is your priority. So remember, study first and you will be pleased with how much you’ll accomplish.
  • Become familiar with the college’s student center and resources. Feel free to ask questions, and seek for help. You can get a campus map, ask about upcoming events, or even meet with academic counselors to help you with your major, and class schedule.  
  • Get involved! Each university has different types of extracurricular activities. Check out the university’s clubs and how you can join. Look into the possible intramural sports that interest you and get playing! The easiest way to assimilate one’s self is to get involved. You’ll make friends, understand more of the culture of America and the university, and have a built-in study break!
  • If you need to work while attending university, then find a job opportunity with a schedule that is accommodating to your schooling. Engage with your co-workers and clear your mind as you work. Working can be a great opportunity for meeting new people and gaining experience to add to your resume! If working is something in your plans, then find a job you enjoy!
  • Have free time for you each day. Whether it’s through reading a book, watching your favorite show, or going on a bike ride, you need time to do what you love.
  • Reach out to others. Hold study groups and become friends with your classmates. Go out to eat with friends and develop stronger relationships with people. Some of the best friendships happen at college. Even if you moved to America by yourself, you are not alone. Having social experiences each day will add purpose and fun to your life.