Top 7 Tips for International Students Studying in the USA

Two international students walking on campus at TAMU-CC.


Studying abroad is a fantastic way to not only gain expertise in your chosen subject, but to learn about the world. From immersing yourself in the local culture, and experiencing new perspectives, to making new friends, you’ll be creating memories and connections in the USA that last a lifetime⁠—all while studying for your dream career.

Here are seven top tips to guide you through your journey to studying in America as an international student:

7 Tips for International Students in the US

1. Cultural Immersion is Key

Get ready to immerse yourself in the local festivals, try the regional food, and embrace the traditions of your new friends. By living like the locals, you’ll create lifelong connections within the community, find your sense of belonging and gain a deep understanding of American culture.

Appreciate what your new home has to offer. Look at local event calendars and attend cultural events, music festivals, and film screenings to appreciate the wide array of art forms immigrants have brought to the USA from across the globe.

2. Understand the Education System

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is part of one of the largest university systems in the US. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the American learning experience.

Don’t be afraid to make use of office hours to connect with professors and seek academic support. In the US, active participation in your learning is encouraged. Ask questions to understand the grading criteria, the culture of the teaching environment, and what is expected of you. You’ll find the more you contribute, the more settled and supported you’ll feel.

3. Financial Literacy Matters

A little financial planning at the start of your journey to study in the USA can pay off in the long term. Create a budget covering your tuition fees, accommodation, food and other expenses like gym membership and day trips. While it can seem laborious, you’ll be thankful when you have some spare dollars to help you celebrate your successes along the way.

Aside from developing good financial planning habits, to receive your I-20 you must show an affidavit of financial support. This shows you have sufficient funds to pay the tuition, fees, medical insurance, and living and personal expenses you will incur while studying.

4. Embrace Diversity

One thing you’ll find when living in America is its diversity. Immigrants from across the world bring with them their cuisines and traditions. Making the US the perfect place to learn from other perspectives, broaden your view of the world and find your path to personal growth.

Our advice for studying abroad: get involved and say “yes” to that invitation to a quiet home-cooked meal or lively backyard BBQ. Let yourself be welcomed by local communities and you never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet. 

5. Health and Wellness

Studying in America as an international student can be hugely rewarding. But make sure to prioritize your physical and mental wellbeing to ensure you have the best experience. Set aside some time to understand the US healthcare system as you will be required to purchase health insurance when you enroll as an international student. Establishing healthy routines like spending time with friends, exercising, and eating well can help you feel at home and have a positive overall experience of studying abroad. And if things feel overwhelming, don’t put off taking advantage of resources on campus like counselling services.

6. Stay Informed about Immigration Regulations

One of the most important pieces of advice for studying abroad is to stay up to date on US immigration policies. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Office of International Education provides informational sessions—make sure to attend to ensure you’re complying with policies, for example work restrictions and visa requirements. To learn more about the procedure for applying for a student visa, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.

 7. Network and Plan for the Future

Many of America’s successful companies, like Tesla and Google, were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. You’ll find the diversity of ideas and skills drives growth in the US, so help establish yourself by building your professional network. To create a supportive community who can help you explore your academic and professional path, attend career fairs and connect with alumni. Participation in internships can also help you understand the careers available to you, navigate the job market and increase your employability. Don’t forget to speak with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Career & Professional Development Center to find out about the opportunities available.

Study at the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi 

Known as the Island University for its location on its own island, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s campus has palm tree-lined pathways, nearby scenic hiking trails and beautiful beach views. Unsurprisingly, it’s ranked as 53 of the 100 most loved destinations around the world (Tourism Sentiment Index, 2023), with its abundance of shopping, seafood restaurants, outdoor activities and cultural sites like the stunning South Texas Botanical Garden & Nature Center.

One of the biggest benefits of studying in the USA for international students is its range of thriving businesses. For example, Texas is home to 55 Fortune 500 companies and more than 120 of the largest US companies, creating the perfect environment for professional networking and internships.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi welcomes students from across the world with a range of programs to meet your needs. The International Pathway Program will prepare you for university. You can study subjects that interest you, alongside English language, from day one, ensuring you have the well-rounded skills to succeed in your studies. You will earn credit towards your degree, helping you graduate on time. After successfully completing your International Year or Pre-Master's Program, you will progress to your full undergraduate or graduate studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

If you meet the admissions requirements, you may apply to enroll directly to the university through our Direct Admission option.

For further information about studying at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, refer to the entry requirements, study fees, and supporting documents.

Corpus Christi is ranked as 53 in the 100 most loved destinations around the world

(Tourism Sentiment Index, 2023)


What should I know about the American education system as an international student?

Active participation in your learning at university in America is key. Make sure to familiarize yourself with how you will be graded and what is expected of you. The style of teaching and learning may be different from what you’re used to—with independent study and a strong emphasis on critical thinking—so it’s important to be proactive in seeking help if needed.

What should I know about immigration regulations and compliance as an international student?

Take time to understand visa requirements and immigration policies, to make sure you’re aware of limitations that could affect you like work restrictions. Attend informational sessions provided by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Office of International Education to ensure compliance with all regulations.

How can I immerse myself in American culture as an international student?

Stay open-minded and curious about your new home. Connect with fellow students to build lasting friendships and look out for local cultural events and volunteer opportunities.