ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE...
It is important to become proficient in English to make your stay in the US a good one. You will probably be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before you will be admitted to a US college or university. The school may also have additional tests for graduate students who are prospective teaching assistants.
This section provides information about English proficiency testing, intensive English classes, teaching styles, and common English usage errors, among other topics.
People from India tend to speak too quickly and mellifluously. Some Americans will have difficulty understanding you, because it will sound like one continuous stream of syllables to them. If you are having trouble communicating, try to enunciate and articulate each word independently of the others.
It is important to maintain eye contact during a conversation. Looking away is a sign of embarrassment or boredom.
Americans dislike silence in a conversation, and will feel awkward and uncomfortable if there are long pauses. If you fall silent in contemplation, they will feel the urge to fill the silence with chatter.
One of your first tasks after arriving in the United States will be to find a place to live. This section provides you with a few tips to make your search a successful one.
When you first arrive on campus you will need a place to live while you look for permanent accommodations. Many schools will provide temporary housing for international students who arrive before the semester begins. Ask the foreign student advisor or housing office for information about temporary housing.
Another option if you know a student at the school is to ask them to let you stay with them for a few days. New graduate students, for example, can often find someone in their department with room for a temporary guest. You may have to sleep on a couch, but at least you'll have a roof over your head. You'll also be able to ask questions of someone who is familiar with the area.
The available options include renting an apartment, renting a house, or buying a house. Most international students cannot afford to buy a house, so we will not discuss this option further.
Most university students in the US live on or near campus. Students who live off-campus generally find a place less than a mile or two away. Not only is this convenient for getting to and from campus, but much of the social life occurs on campus. The US educational experience is not confined to the classroom, and you will find yourself learning as much from your fellow students as from the faculty.
If the school offers on-campus accommodations for international students, you should seriously consider living on-campus, at least for the first year. Since this is probably your first trip to the United States and your first time living alone, on-campus housing will help cushion the transition to life in the United States. Later, when you are more familiar with the neighborhood, you can consider moving off-campus.
Renting a house is usually a viable option only if you will be sharing it with several roommates. You will certainly get more for your money if you rent a house. But most communities have limits on the number of unrelated people who can live together, with most cities having a limit ranging from 3 to 5. These laws are intended to prevent overcrowding for health and safety reasons. In any event, the process for renting a house is similar to renting an apartment.
The cost of renting an apartment varies considerably depending on the part of the country and the local supply and demand. A one bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh might cost $400 a month while the same apartment in Boston or San Jose will cost $1,200 or more. The school's housing office or financial aid office can provide you with an estimate of the annual cost of renting an off-campus apartment.