Home > NewsRelease > For Prospective International Graduate Students, Part 7: Succeeding Once Enrolled (Final part of series) By Dr. Don Martin
For Prospective International Graduate Students, Part 7: Succeeding Once Enrolled (Final part of series) By Dr. Don Martin
Dr. Donald C. Martin -- Graduate Study Expert Dr. Donald C. Martin -- Graduate Study Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago, IL
Friday, June 17, 2022

Navigating life in another country – dealing with “culture shock”
As has already been communicated, moving to another country is a major adjustment. Here are seven tips for international students coming to the United States for graduate study.
Tip One: Give yourself permission to be a bit anxious and disoriented. Change takes time – habits do not solidify immediately. Realize that you will be “out of sorts” for a while, but that you will eventually adjust and be just fine.
Tip Two: Realize that you are in a new “home” country and try to acclimate to the new culture. This does not mean that you forsake your own culture – not in any way whatsoever. It does mean that you need to be mindful and respectful of the new culture.
Tip Three: Do some research on the neighborhood you will now call your home. Become familiar with the geography and demographics. See if you can find a website that lists events going on in the neighborhood. You may discover that there are activities of interest to you – concerts, movies, sporting events, etc. In addition, most institutions will offer low cost events and activities.
Tip Four: Guard your safety. In every major city there are several areas that can be less safe than we would like. Colleges and universities located in or near these areas take great measures to protect their students, faculty and staff. They often offer safety and security information online, and in workshops or seminars on campus. Take advantage of this information. In a large number of instances, an individual can greatly increase or lessen his/her chances of being a victim of some sort of crime by following some very simple guidelines.
Tip Five: Become a full member of your institutional and academic community. Make friends with others from your country who have also enrolled. Make friends with students from other countries. Check out opportunities to be involved with some of the student organizations on campus. Networking and socializing is just as important as studying.
Tip Six: If you have family members with you, make sure to include them in what is happening in your world. Encourage them to come with you to various campus or community events. Let them become a part of the institutional or local community so they feel more at home. This helps everyone to feel that they are participating in the whole experience.
Tip Seven: If you are struggling in some way, do not be afraid or reluctant to ask for help. As mentioned earlier, there is an office of international services dedicated to assisting you. In addition, the student affairs office, counseling and medical services, and religious organizations are available to you. It is not a sign of weakness to acknowledge that you need help. Rather, it is a sign of strength. Continuing to try and function while needing help is like have a cut on your finger and doing nothing to stop the bleeding. Eventually you will be forced to deal with the cut. Similarly, not acknowledging and addressing problems will eventually lead to a crisis of some sort that will force the issue. Don’t let things get to that point. Get help when you first believe you need it. Your confidentiality is respected and guaranteed.
Career Opportunities
Many international students pursue graduate study having firm post-graduation plans. Quite a few already have jobs waiting for them. Others are looking for new career opportunities, some back home, many in the U.S. or another country.
Most firms, organizations, institutions and companies in the United States and abroad are desirous of hiring international employees. This is, after all, a global community. Having a diverse work force is included in almost every employer’s mission statement.
My advice to international students for pursuing job opportunities is almost exactly the same as it is for U.S. citizens: Once again you are in the position of being an applicant. Do a great job preparing your resume, spend a lot of time practicing for interviews, and follow the guidelines for applying with various prospective employers.
Many students take advantage of the career services office at their institution. This is very wise. The staff in this office has developed good relationships with many employers, and their purpose is to assist you in finding a great job opportunity. Obviously, this process is aided if you work with the career services office well before graduation. Do not make the mistake of waiting until two months before you are to receive your degree, and start applying and interviewing, expecting to have a job waiting for you in two months.
After you enroll, stop by the career services office and find out what they have to offer. If there are information sessions conducted by the employer(s) in which you have interest, attend those sessions. Start networking with the representatives of these employers, under the guidance of the career services staff. Just like the admission staff assisted you at the front end of your graduate school journey, so the career services staff will assist you at the tail end. Take advantage of internship opportunities, which are often coordinated by the career services staff. These can lead to post-graduation employment with the same or another company.
One great way to find out about a potential employer is to speak with recent graduates who are now working for that employer. Many career services offer a mentoring program, which pairs a recent graduate working at a respective company with a current student who is interested in working there. Check to see if such a program exists at your institution. Even if it does not, the career services offices should be able to connect you with alumni who can help answer your questions and offer input.
Lastly, be sure to consult with your international student services office about pre-and post-graduation employment benefits and related regulations, depending on your visa status.
There you have it – information provided especially for you as an international student. Please check out my website, www.gradschoolroadmap.com, for a list of services, including one on one coaching. All the best with your graduate school plans. May your educational and professional journey be everything you wish for and more!
Be sure to check out Dr. Don’s book, “Road Map for Graduate Study, A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students,” right here on the GSRM website. For a reduced price CLICK HERE, go to The Book page, scroll down, click on the Order Now box, and use discount code GSRM.
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The post For Prospective International Graduate Students, Part 7: Succeeding Once Enrolled (Final part of series) By Dr. Don Martin appeared first on Grad School Road Map.
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Name: Dr. Donald C. Martin
Group: Grad School Road Map
Dateline: Chicago, IL United States
Direct Phone: 773-549-7639
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