Starting college is an exciting and daunting ordeal for everyone involved. You wonder incessantly about the way things are going to be once you get to college. Will it be worse than you imagined? Or maybe things will be way better than what you’re thinking?
It’s understandable to be a little nervous. As an international student, you are moving away from everything that you know to experience life differently. Although the struggle is real for every college student, I think it’s safe to say it’s worse for a smaller percentage of Trevecca’s population: international students.
International students find themselves battling the homesickness and adapting to life on campus as much as anyone else. However, for international students, going to college means leaving their countries and families for months at a time, eating foods they aren't used to and having to make sure their belongings weigh less than 50 pounds so they can fit them in a suitcase that will allowed on an airplane.
International students, while you may sometimes feel lonely, know that you’re not alone. We want you to feel at home at Trevecca, so here’s our top five list of things international students need to know about studying abroad at Trevecca Nazarene University.
1. You will miss your family—a lot.
It’s true! Your family is going to be the one thing that you’ll miss the most, and although you won’t be able to see them on some holidays, remember they’re proud that you’re here. Your family is happy to see you triumph, and there’s so much now that allows you to remain connected to them. Talk to them once in a while, but also don’t feel guilty when you can’t. They want you to enjoy your time in college.
2. Don’t buy too much stuff for your room.
Yes, you want your room to be comfortable and attractive, but remember that once the school year is over, you will have to find a place to store all of the things that you can’t take home with you! Buy as much as you need and make your room comfortable, but if you buy excess décor you’ll have to find a way to get rid of it, or look for places to store it safely. Many other international students don’t think it’s worth the hassle.
3. Embrace who you are!
It’s OK for you to have a different accent and different customs. It’s OK to ask questions and to be proud of your roots and culture. Trevecca appreciates the diversity our international students bring to our community, so never be afraid to be true to who you are. Wear traditional outfits, speak your language and tell people about your country; it intrigues them to hear it.
4. Be involved.
You’ll need a support group while you’re here and the best way to make friends is by being involved in things that interest you. If you love board games, join the club! Love sports? Play intramurals. You will make friends that will be like family, and it’s a good way to get acquainted with people and campus. Trevecca is your new home, and it’s up to you to get to know it.
5. It’s a community!
Everyone is in the same predicament as you are. Everyone misses home, and their home-cooked meals. It’s a shared struggle, and if you talk to people about it you’ll find that many can relate. There are also other international students that will understand you’re longing for home. Trevecca is a community, and we’re all in this adventure for the next four years together.
—Hilda Elvir is a junior at Trevecca, majoring in marketing. She is originally from Honduras and loves to read and write. Her goal is to work as public relations specialist one day.