My Journey: Essential Tips for International Students Moving Abroad

Embarking on my educational journey in a foreign land was both exhilarating and challenging.

Women in front of a sign that says Welcome to North Carolina
The day I landed in Raleigh after a 20-hour long flight.

I am sharing how I eased my transition with these essential tips for academic success, housing arrangements, transportation, and accessing crucial resources.

Here are the suggestions that personally helped me ensure a seamless transition:

  1. Stay Informed: Attending or reviewing past Office of International Services (OIS) sessions was invaluable during my journey. These sessions covered crucial topics such as academic success, student life, professional development opportunities, immigration updates, and admissions. I highly recommend checking out the “Packing Up & Pre-Arrival Series.”
  2. Housing Matters: Planning my housing arrangements as soon as possible was a game-changer. To find housing recommendations and potential roommates, I tapped into resources like Google Groups and information documents provided by the Institute.
  3. Navigate with Ease: I relied on NCSU Wolfline and GoRaleigh services for transportation options. Downloading the TransLoc app made accessing information about timings and bus stops incredibly convenient–especially when navigating within the university and around Raleigh.
  4. Explore Valuable Resources: I spent quality time exploring the IAA website and the Office of International Services. These platforms offered me a wealth of information that significantly eased my transition.
  5. Summer Primer Advantage: Attending the summer primer, available both online and in-person, can provide you with a valuable overview of what to anticipate in the upcoming semester. Many students find it helpful to establish a strong foundation and navigate the academic landscape of the MSA program more easily.
  6. Familiarize Yourself with the Curriculum: I reviewed the curriculum on the IAA website, which helped me become acquainted with the topics I would study during the summer semester. This proactive approach alleviated the academic load as I adjusted to my new environment.
  7. One Card Access: Obtaining my One Card from the Tally Student Union during my first week in Raleigh was immensely helpful. My One Card provided access to many resources, including the library, gym, student health center, and more.

Finally, don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated teams at IAA and the Office of International Services. They are here to support you every step of the way. Remember, preparation is the key, and as I share my journey, I hope these strategies will empower you to maximize the potential of your transformative international student experience.

With my practicum team (Casey, Amelia, Henry, Manisha, and Nabeel)

Columnist: Manisha Kasam