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Don’t be shy! 6 Tips for international students

September 13, 2011

In recent years, more and more international students are coming to the USA. As they contribute to the country’s already established culture diversity, they often have to put more effort into adjust themselves to the new environment. Particularly if one’s first language isn’t English, it is very likely that they will suffer an upset period of time. Eventually, you will find your way, but just make sure to do whatever you can to get out of the hard situation as soon as possible.

Here’s what I would recommend for you:

  • Tip 1: Don’t wait! Speak up early!

Many international students speak less, because they’re afraid to make mistakes. “I can wait until I’m 100% sure that I’m speaking correctly.” A lot of students think this way. Yes, mistakes can be risky, they may lead to embarrassing moments or even misunderstandings between people, but if you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never know the right way to do it. It’s ok to ask silly questions in the beginning. So DON’T WAIT! Speak up early!

  • Tip 2: Watch TV

Television programs usually contain slang, so you can learn a lot through watching them. What’s more, the content is interesting, so you’ll never get bored. So what I’m trying to say here is to consciously build a language environment for yourself.  The more you hear, the more you’ll get used to it. Same for movies!

  • Tip 3: Find roommate(s) that you can only speak English with

Roommates can be American, or international students from other country, as long as you have to communicate in English, you’re good. We all know that when living with someone, there are always a plenty of problems to solve, and this really pushes you to use English more often rather than your own language. After some time, you’ll find yourself getting used to the new language environment and the new communication pattern.

  • Tip 4: Attend more local events

It’s true that we all find our own communities, and it is more likely that we build our sense of identity on a group of people that’s similar to us, say, who speak our language. A lot of students are quite active in the student associations of their own culture but not other associations. This is definitely good, but if you have time, participate in couple more local events and get social with people from various cultural backgrounds. There are plenty of student associations on campus, remember to take advantage of all the resources!

  • Tip 5: Always have self-confidence

It’s common that some non US students feel that they have no advantage when it comes to language compared with native speakers, but don’t be upset about this. Rather than just focusing on the language, try to find your own strong points, strengthening them, demonstrate them, and stay positive. After all, language is just a part of communication, sometimes content and one’s emotion can be more important.

  • Tip 6: Smile!

The last tip is always remember to smile! When you don’t understand what others are saying, smile. When you make a mistake, smile. Smile to strangers, smile to your friends, smile to yourself. It builds up your courage and confidence. We all want to get close to someone who smiles a lot.

Any other tips? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your ideas!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Fernando permalink
    February 6, 2013 4:35 pm

    Awesome page, nice tips, I was searching a lot about that, thanks for the help and information! Always smile 😉 hahahahah

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