College is a major adjustment for any new student.  This statement is especially true for new international students; not only do they have to navigate a new campus and figure out their hectic schedules, but they must adapt to an entirely new culture, new environment, and possibly a new language.

In order to ease the transition into a new school, Virginia International University has compiled a list of tips to keep in mind during and beyond the university orientation process.

  1. Make new friends and remember that everyone is in the same boat. Many students have just arrived in the United States right before New Student Orientation, just like you.  All the new aspects of your new school and home can be overwhelming, especially if English is not your first language.  Take a deep breath, show off your best smile, and say ‘hello’ to others who also may look a little lost.  It will benefit you both in the long run.
  2. Leave your comfort zone and attend a variety of student activities. The best way to meet new people, whether they are someone of the same nationality or not, is to try things you would not normally do.  This can include joining a sports club, volunteering, attending a talent event, or taking a health or language class.  Virginia International University offers a variety of clubs and activities throughout the year that serve every hobby.  You can learn more about VIU clubs by reaching out to can also be very tempting to hang out to people who are similar to you.  While it’s fantastic to find a familiar face amongst the crowd as a safety net early on, it is advantageous to you to learn about new cultures and traditions from your fellow international and American students.
  3. Begin to keep your finances in order. The United States, specifically the Northern Virginia region, can be an expensive place to live in.  Start to manage all of your expenses by creating a budget in order to maintain a satisfying lifestyle for yourself in the future.  There are a variety of websites that provide generic printable budgets that are helpful to students.VIU advises students to take the time to figure out what money you have available for education, rent, and necessities for your first year and give yourself a limit of how much to spend each month.Learn more about how to finance your education on our webpage, at
  4. Utilize all of your on-campus resources.
    Virginia International University makes it a point to help any students in need.  There are a variety of services to help you in both your academics and beyond.  For example, if you are looking for an internship or job, it is helpful to seek assistance from the Career Center.  They have a variety positions available and will work with you to find the perfect fit.
    If you ever have any questions about VIU and the additional resources it offers, feel free to reach out to the ever-helpful Inquiry Team via email, at