How you adjust to living in a foreign country, or in a culture that is different from your own can be a process of self-discovery. It is a time that is never quite the same for any two personalities. However, the ability to learn the language appears to be equally as important to the ease of the life adjustment process.
You may encounter new, different and often confusing situations in the beginning. The term "culture shock" has been applied to the stress that may be created by immersion into an alien culture system. You may or may not experience your reaction as stressful. It will depend to some degree upon what part of the world you are from. The term "culture shock" applies to cases of the more extreme stress reactions. Even if you do experience an extreme period of stress, it is unlikely that you will intellectualize what you are feeling as culture shock. Your feelings are more likely to be feelings of loneliness, anxiety, uncertainty, depression, or sadness. You may just feel unhappy or alienated. If you have these feelings you need to talk them over with someone, preferably your International Student Advisor who can help you understand what is going on with you. Once you understand, you will be better able to cope with your emotions.
Here in the United States the language, climate, food, religion, dress, family life, sexual and social values, the way of living, and the educational system may differ significantly from what you have been used to all of your life. This may give you a real sense of loss of what you have come to know in your life. The grief you may feel stems from a sense of separation from all the things in your life that you have valued. You may even encounter differences you never imagined could or even should exist from what you have always known. The differences you notice between American ways and your ways at home may seem delightful; or you may experience some American ways that seem distasteful, undesirable or even disgusting to you. It is probable that you will have mixed emotions about a lot of things and this may leave you feeling uncomfortable about your ambivalent emotions.
Your adjustment to life here may even encompass a physical adjustment. The pace of life here in America is sometimes considered to be too fast. A great emphasis on punctuality exists in American culture and this may not fit well with your own sense of time if you came from a culture where enjoying life in the moment or a sense of daily peace is strongly valued. You should remember that there are good and bad aspects of every society. In time, you will make up your own mind which aspects of American culture you can accept and which aspects you cannot find acceptable for yourself.
American society is highly individualistic with strong values on freedom and democracy. It is socially informal for the most part. In many ways America is a political, economic, and social society, which permits a great deal more social mobility than do many other societies. There is a rather northern European range of personal distance such as Latin and Middle Eastern cultures; and of more personal distance as in Asian cultures. Americans often control their emotions, especially feelings of passion, affection and sentimentality. Anger is a socially acceptable emotion in many instances. It is perhaps because of this acceptance of anger that violent expressions of anger often occur.
Americans are basically honest people for the most part. Personal honesty is considered a sign of integrity. Therefore, an American may appear to be quite rude at times to people from certain cultures, when in fact they do not see themselves in the least as being rude. Saying "NO" is considered an acceptable answer if it is the sincere response. It is perceived by Americans to be a straightforward and honest response. Therefore, Americans may sometimes not appear to be polite people. However, Americans see themselves as polite people in an honest sort of way.
Many Americans are highly ethnocentric. That means they strongly value their own culture and do not highly value other cultures. They may be insensitive or indifferent toward other cultures with values that differ from their own. Every society has such individuals. You must remember that this cannot and will not limit you as much as it limits their world view and their vision of the human universe. It is very important not to stereotype Americans based on the Americans you may have encountered in the past. We are a diverse society. Maintain openness toward all Americans if you should have a bad experience with one person so that you will remain receptive to this diversity. Our behavior towards others says much about ourselves. You may never encounter the prejudice of "ethnocentrism". If you do, it is hoped that you will determine to derive from it a learning experience and not a painful memory. Generally, you may find life in America more stressful than other places you have lived before. This seems to be a result of a highly productive society and characterizes life in the postindustrial period.Your adjustment process will continue as long as you live in the United States. It will encompass many phases. Feelings of acceptance or rejection of the American culture, comfort and discomfort about your life here may come and go, then return again. All of this is normal. When eventually you return home again you will still experience adjustment periods or what may be called "reverse culture shock" or "reentry syndrome". This is all part of what has been called the process of enculturation.
Recognize the advantage of having lived in different cultures. You will be enriched by your experiences, and by the people you will meet and come to know. You will become a bicultural individual, a citizen of the world, and in the process you will find yourself striking a balance between the aspects of those cultures that express your own personal value system and world vision. This will be an illuminating process of self-discovery for you. Ultimately, you will find that many strong ties exist for you to your native culture and to your family back home. Once you are able to recognize your progress in the adjustment process of acclimating to a new culture, you will find that you are indeed making progress toward a successful adjustment to living in the United States.
Mountain View Collegedoes not operate any student housing. The International Student Office has a list of many of the apartment complexes near Moutain View College, we will be glad to email you this list upon your request; however, this list does not represent the endorsement of these accommodations.
According to a collection of different sources, we have estimated that the average rent for a one-bedroom, unfurnished apartment ranges from $600 to $900 a month. For two bedrooms, the average is $800 to $1100, and for three bedrooms, $1100 to $1400 per month. This does not usually include utilities.Be prepared to pay deposits for utility services (electricity, internet access, telephone, etc.).
International Students Insurance
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), an office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Department of State, provides an information sheet to assist you in your entry into the United States.
Very Important: Please read BEFORE you arrive in the United States.
Information regarding a Texas Driver's License/Texas State ID (PDF - 292 KB)
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) gets you around 13 cities with rail, bus, paratransit, HOV lanes and rideshare services.
Dear International Student you must always:
You Must Never:
WORK OFF CAMPUS unless you have the necessary authorization from the international student advisor (consult the foreign student advisor for details).
WORK ON CAMPUS more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.
Take a leave of absence, withdraw from classes, or drop below 12 credit hours without receiving advance permission from the Office of International Students.
Note that once you have completed or terminated your program, or have failed to maintain legal student status, you can no longer legally enter the US with your I-20 or DS-2019 form and the staff of Mountain View College can no longer sign those forms.
All International Students must complete Form 8843.This form is required to maintain nonresident status and exclude your presence from the Substantial Presence Test. Even students who did not receive any type of income from U.S. sources MUST file Form 8843. Form 8843 is due by June 15.International Students who worked and received income from U.S. sources must complete Form 8843, AND
Form 1040NR, for working F-1 student with dependent;
Form 1040NR-EZ for a working F-1 student without dependents.
Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ is due by April 15.All tax forms must be mailed to this address:Department of the TreasuryInternal Revenue Service CenterAustin, TX 73301-0215**NOTE: Contact a tax professional if you need assistance with these forms. The International Office at Mountain View College cannot assist with government tax preparations.