Academics in the U.S.
What to expect in American classrooms
are the primary form of instruction, especially at the undergraduate
level. Although attendance may not be recorded, you are nevertheless
expected to attend. Classroom discussion, recitations, reading assignments, and
periodic written assignments supplement the lectures. Students are
expected to contribute to the discussion in the classroom. American
professors want students to respect their knowledge and opinions, but they
generally prefer discussion and debate to respectful silence. Questioning
or challenging the teacher is viewed as a healthy sign of interest, attention
and independent thinking. Silent observation is often assumed to
indicate that you are not interested in what is being said in class, or
that you do not understand.
most faculty members encourage critical thinking from students, the manner
which criticism is expressed is important. You can show respect by
acknowledging your professor’s point of view and then offering yours for
consideration. The teaching style of the professor can determine the
amount of student participation in each class. Some instructors prefer a
more formal style of lecture with a possible question and answer period at the
end. Others prefer a more conversational style and encourage
interaction throughout the class. You can get the ‘feel’ of the classroom
expectations with the first few weeks of class or discuss classroom etiquette
with your classmates or professor if you have questions or concerns.
Adjusting to another culture
Culture shock can be described as the feelings one
experiences after leaving their familiar, home culture to live in another
cultural or social environment. Many people associate culture shock only with
extreme changes of going from one country to another, but it can also be
experienced closer to home, such as when traveling from one city to another
within your own country. Even the most open-minded and culturally sensitive
among us are not immune to culture shock.
with Culture Shock
- Learn as much as
you can about the new location before you go. This means the good, the
bad, and the simply different — from time zones, to what side of the
street people drive on, to climate/temperature, to foods, political
system, culture, customs and religion(s), to "Can you drink the
water?" and "What type of electrical outlets do they have?".
- Remember there
will be people who fit the image you create of the typical "Person
from Country X" and those who do not. Clinging to stereotypes won't
help you to learn more about a new country and its people.
- Be open-minded
and willing to learn. Ask questions. If you are going to a place where
people speak a different language, consider taking a few courses in that
- Maintain a sense
of humor. (Perhaps
the most important!)
- Knowing that the
move will be a challenge, give yourself time. Don't be hard on
- Don't withdraw!
Continue to experience the new culture. Travel within the country, and
visit cultural events and locations, such as museums or historic sites.
- Build new
with positive people.
- Stay active, eat
well, get enough sleep.
- Bring a few
touches of home with you, such as photos of favorite locations and family
members, your favorite music or favored knickknacks.
- Keep in touch
with people at home by Skype, email, phone, postcards — whatever. This can
give you some comfort while away, and it will help you to minimize reverse
culture shock when you get back home.
Source - http://www.hziegler.com/articles/culture-shock.html
Americans tend to celebrate many holidays marking historical,
cultural and religious events. Some are very formal or somber, while others
are silly and fun. During certain national holidays, government offices, banks and other businesses will be closed. For a list of common celebrations, please
visit the link below.
Celebrate! Holidays in the U.S.
American Social Customs
University social life
The best measure of success on any college campus is not only
academic achievement but also to what degree you are engaged in clubs or
organizations, or how quickly you are able to connect and make friends.
Students who are happy on any university campus very often are members of
several groups. Even happier students find themselves surrounded by a diverse
group of friends who speak a different language and come from a culture that is
completely different than yours. Fellow students can help you to appreciate
where you come from but more importantly, it also helps you to understand all
the wonderful things about their cultures and their traditions.
Source - http://www.internationalstudentguidetotheusa.com/articles/love-where-you-live-learn.htm
information please contact:
CU Denver Student Life