7 Tips for Settling In After Moving Abroad to the US
Well you did it. After applying to study in the US, you've passed the interviews, succeeded in the standardised tests (SATs are a nightmare) and navigated the application system minefield. You did it. You're now an international student in the United States.
It can be really scary, but moving to the United States can be one of the best decisions of your life. Whether it be for six months as a university exchange, or for the entire length of your degree, moving abroad is an exciting, daunting prospect. It's completely natural to not find your feet straight away, but hopefully this guide can help you settle in and start making friendships which will last you a lifetime.
Don’t hide away due to shyness or a fear of reaching out. Getting out and about and outside of your comfort zone is key to finding your place in your new home. Even if it’s just going to the library, or going to that cute cafe on campus, you'll really feel the benefits of exploring new places and being ready to meet a whole new bunch of people.
Find a hobby
Moving abroad is the perfect time to be adventurous and pick up a new hobby. It will introduce you to heaps of new people, and make you invest your time wisely.
If you're interested in playing a sport, the investment in facilities in the US college sport system is insane, with some school sports teams attracting audiences of thousands of people. This experience is definitely worth taking advantage of, and even if you'd rather be a spectator than a participant you'll find the atmosphere and team spirit at college sports events is amazing.
Being busy and active is a great way to settle into a new place, and a new home can mean a fresh start!
Say yes to every opportunity
Whether it be a coffee date on a Saturday afternoon, or a road trip and a weekend away, try and say yes to every opportunity you are given. It’s all about breaking out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things - and making new friends along the way.
Invest in your interests
I don’t necessarily mean invest money, but more like time. Give yourself and your hobbies ample time - you will be doing something you love, while also meeting people who clearly enjoy the same things as you.
Maybe join a sorority or another social group that will help you make long-lasting friendships.
Take some time for yourself
This is really important - don’t burn yourself out! It is so easy to get caught in this trap of being overly busy and forcing yourself to do so many social activities that you never have any time to breathe and reflect.
If you get overtired, it can affect your mood, and you’ll find yourself enjoying life less. So try to take a day once a week to just be by yourself and to breathe.
Don’t be afraid to text first
If you meet someone you like - text them! Get in contact and invite them somewhere - they might just be shy and afraid to text first. What is worse than a potential friendship lost, because of not sending that first text?
It’s natural to take your time
So many people think that moving somewhere new will be a natural step, and that life will fall into place but that's just not how it works. It has taken me over a year to really get into the swing of things and be truly happy.
Sometimes life can be a bit slow to to update, and that’s perfectly natural. Don’t compare your journey to others - people settle at different paces, and comparing yourself to others only leads to unhappiness. Embrace your new life and enjoy every twist and turn.
本文首发于 2019 August ， 更新于 2020 January 。