How to Make the Most of Your US Education

If you’re an international student studying in the US, you should try your best to plan out your time in the country. This means that you should make sizable goals to ensure that you are getting as much as you can from the experience. Not everyone has the opportunity to study in the US, which is why it is crucial for you to make the most of your time and education in the US. 

Find a major that makes sense to you

When deciding what you want to major in, you should consider your career aspirations. Ask yourself questions like What do I want to do after college? What are my career goals and how can my education help me move toward those goals? Career choice should definitely be a large part of your consideration since your CPT will be intertwined with your major (learn more about it here!).

Another thing to consider is your academic strengths and weaknesses. If you are more qualitative then you might want to lean more toward a humanities major, while if you are more quantitative then maybe you would rather major in something more math heavy. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case as you can also take this educational opportunity to improve your weaknesses. In the end, it’s all about how much you want to challenge yourself during your college years.

Apply for minors

You should definitely consider doing at least one minor as this will enhance your studies and open more doors to opportunities. It does not cost more money to add a minor to your degree, and your minor doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your major. It can be something that you are genuinely interested in but don’t really see yourself majoring in. You can use it as a way to learn about something new as well!

You should check with your college to see how many minors they allow students to have as some schools allow one while other schools allow more. Either way, it is definitely something that you should consider as it adds so much to your college experience.

Get involved in extracurricular activities

One of the most unique aspects of a US college experience is the focus on extracurricular activities. Many colleges emphasize clubs as a form of academic and social resource, depending on the type of clubs of course. Either way, the availability and abundance of extracurricular activities is definitely something that you should take advantage of. Whether it be a career-oriented club or an interest club, you can learn so much from the people within the club and make friends with similar interests through it.

Take advantage of resources

US colleges have so many resources that students often overlook. For example, most colleges have a career center that you can utilize and get resources from. They can look through your resume, do mock interviews with you, and advise you on possible career paths. Most, if not all, universities also have health centers and consultations for both physical and mental health. 

Academic mentorships or peer studying programs (facilitated by the university’s academic departments)

Explore internship opportunities

While you’re studying in the US, you should try your best to get internships so that you can have experience within your interested field. There is an abundance of internship opportunities at big and small companies as the idea of internships is more common in the US. Be sure to do research on the industry you’re interested in beforehand as some fields have specific recruiting cycles while others are more flexible.

Immerse yourself in American culture and travel the country

Making the most of your US education does not only have to apply to your academics. A crucial part of studying in the US is immersing yourself in American culture by socializing with friends and exploring traditions as well as different states. You should set a portion of time aside for hanging out with friends and actually live life in the US. Moreover, during your school breaks, you can travel to different states within the country. You can go on roadtrips with your friends and take some time off from school.

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