5 Tips for Arab Students Studying in America
There is a multitude of ways to get the most out of studying at a US college or university if you are an Arab student. Not only will you get a solid educational experience, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process. With access to academic and personal mentoring and internships together with assistance with job placements and applications for grad school, you will gain the chance to expand your horizons and contribute in many ways to the wider school community. If you are an Arab studying in America, here are 5 tips to help you to maximize your experience.
Understand Your Visa Requirements
Unless you are an American Arab, you will have to obtain a visa in order to study here. If this is the case, you must ensure that you’re fully conversant with your visa requirements and regulations. For example, you may find that you’re not allowed to take any off-campus jobs during your first year.
Come to Grips with Your Financial Responsibilities
Financing an education in the US is difficult, even for American students. Enrolling on any course of study can be an expensive undertaking, and even if you are granted a scholarship such as those offered by the Arab American Institute Foundation, there are still many expenses that need to be covered. One way to see your way through college, especially if you’re unable to take a job due to visa restrictions, is to take out a student loan. As international students are not usually entitled to a US government-guaranteed loan, a private student loan is your best option to invest in your future. Before applying for a loan, it is always worth exploring the option of scholarships and international student financial aid. Should you decide to take a private student loan, you should carefully evaluate how much you or your family can contribute towards your education to reduce the amount you have to borrow.
Get to Know Your Campus
This advice is for everyone, not just Arab students. By familiarizing yourself with the faculty and staff on campus, you’re taking the first steps to build a support network to help you through your studies. This network will include people such as your academic advisor, health and mental health counselors, student housing representatives, international advisor, and, if necessary, the financial aid department.
Join in the College Culture
Attending college is not all about academia. To make the most of the experience and learn about the American way of life, integration is key. Join up for clubs and societies that interest you, sign up for a sports team, or participate in cultural awareness events where you can help to educate your fellow students about your culture and community.
Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Help
Starting college can be a stressful time for many students and finding yourself in a new city, state, or country can make the experience even more daunting. Never be scared or embarrassed to ask for help, whether that’s help with some aspect of your studies, or help on a personal or financial matter. No question is too stupid and it’s only by asking questions that you will learn.
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