Moving to a foreign country requires serious planning, but moving overseas with a family takes it to a next level. I moved from Seoul, South Korea to Raleigh with my wife who was in her third trimester of pregnancy. Despite my best effort to have everything planned and sorted out before we landed in Raleigh, I had to face unforeseen issues. In this post, I offer three tips on settling in Raleigh as an international student.
1) Getting Around
The Wolfline, the bus system run by NC State University, is a reliable form of transportation but has its limitations. A limited number of bus routes operate during the summer semester, and during a certain time of the day, some buses do not take the regular route. On the day of the summer practicum presentation, I had a last-minute rehearsal scheduled with my team at 8 AM. The bus I usually took to school was not operating on a regular bus route, so I had to call my teammate to pick me up.
If you plan to get a driver’s license to drive your own car, I highly recommend that you schedule your written and road tests at least two months in advance because you will have trouble taking those tests as a walk-in.
2) Finding a Place to Live
- Greens Apartment
A 15-minute walk from the Institute for Advanced Analytics (IAA) building, but you need to drive to go to a grocery store or the Farmer’s market. A lot of students live here.
- Gorman St. Area
Plenty of Wolfline buses that you can take to the IAA building or ride a bike if you are up for it. Close to Avent Ferry shopping center.
- Cameron Village
Some Wolfline buses take you to Centennial Campus, where the Institute is located. This is too far for walking (40 minutes) or biking (15 minutes) for most people. But it is conveniently located at a walkable distance to the main campus and the Village shopping district, which has restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, pharmacies, and dry cleaners.
- The Institute shares a housing resource with incoming students to help them find a place to live.
3) Finding Support
Finally, and most importantly, the IAA staff, faculty, and colleagues are like a family away from home. The Institute arranges regular meetings for international students to share useful tips or lessons on a variety of topics, such as American conversation style and business idioms. These programs help everyone to succeed in the program and get to know other students. Also, everyone genuinely cares about you and your family’s well-being. When my baby was born, many of my colleagues offered help.
It can initially be intimidating trying to go through a rigorous program and take care of your family at the same time, but I have been able to do both with the support of the IAA.
Columnist: Nick Park