One of the most rewarding aspects of studying abroad is integrating into your host country: meeting people, making friends, participating in social events (or even joining a sports team) and feeling like you’re a part of your new community. At first, that can be a little tricky. Fortunately, many ISEP universities offer programs to help study abroad students feel at home. Students at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana, get some extra help in learning how to live like a local. Here are five things you can do to fit in at USI:
1. Live in a diverse community
Students at the University of Southern Indiana can stay in the Global Community, a special dorm where Americans and international students live together. The Global Community includes monthly events and culture nights so that all residents can learn about each others’ backgrounds and celebrate diversity.
There’s no better way to feel connected to a community than by giving back! Participate in USI’s Service Learning Program, help make your new home-away-from-home a little better, and develop some academic and leadership skills in the process.
3. Share your home culture
USI’s International Outreach allows students to share their home culture with others in the community, like school children or area businesspersons. Students can also take advantage of International Food Expo Day, where the international community at USI comes together to celebrate the foods of many countries.
4. Befriend an American family
Hang out with the locals with USI’s Host Family Program. Get matched with a family and go to sporting events, spend holidays and relax with an American family.
5. Make a friend
Practice your English and get to know the American culture with USI’s Small World Program. Students are matched with conversation partners based on interests… and the rest is the start of a beautiful friendship.
Does USI sound like the right fit for you? Check out the University of Southern Indiana on the ISEP website to learn more about what it’s like to study there.
Have you already studied abroad? What do you do to make friends and integrate into the host culture? Share with us in the comments!
An earlier version of this post was originally shared February 7, 2014.
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