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You should always inform your international student adviser of your expected date and time of arrival. Also provide him or her with other pertinent information, such as the airport at which you will arrive (or train station or bus terminal), your flight number, name of airline, and last point of departure.

Sometimes the international student adviser, a representative from the university, or a member of the community can come to meet you. However, with many international students arriving at the same time, this might not be possible. You should avoid arriving at your school during the evening, on a Saturday or Sunday, or during a U.S. national holiday, since college or university offices are usually closed at those times.

The recommended time of arrival will vary from one school to another, but generally you should arrive several days before the campus orientation for newinternational students and registration for classes. This will give you an opportunity to settle in and to rest from your trip before participating in required new student activities. It will also provide time for you to become familiar with the campus and the community and to make friends before classes begin.

University residence halls usually do not open until a few days before registration. Students who arrive early with reservations to live in a residence hall may not be able to move into their assigned room if campus housing facilities have not yet officially opened for the semester or academic term. TheInternational Students Office or campus Housing Office may be able, however, to make other arrangements for temporary dormitory lodging on a daily basis.

In your correspondence with the international student adviser, ask about other temporary housing opportunities, such as staying with a family in the community until you can move into your permanent housing. If it is possible, this can be an excellent introduction to life in the United States.

First Days at the University

The first few days at your U.S. College or university can be a truly exciting time. There will be many new students on campus like you, all dealing with feelings of anticipation mixed with a certain amount of worry regarding how the first few months of study will go. During those first days, you may find yourself very busy getting organized and settling in. Your priorities may include letting your family at home know that you have arrived safely, becoming familiar with the college campus, meeting new people, deciding on your academic program, and completing all administrative requirements so that your registration and enrollment are in order.

New student orientation programs offer a perfect opportunity to accomplish all of these tasks, to attend campus social events planned especially for newstudents, and to help ease the transition to a new place.

Despite the excitement, it is not at all unusual for students to feel a certain degree of loneliness, homesickness, or anxiety during their first year. U.S. universities offer many sources of help and counsel, but the responsibility for seeking assistance lies with you, the student. In other words, if you need help, it is up to you to seek it out among the many resources the educational institution offers.

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