Heads up for the incoming international students! Here is a list of the few basic things I struggled with when I first got here that you most probably will struggle with, here or in another school, as an international student:
I kid you not when I tell you my first weeks of classes were spent trying to stay awake. If you are coming from a different country with a different time zone, which most probably will be (countries in North America being the exception), you will suffer from jet lag. Your sleeping time usually at your home country, would be the time you have to be awake here in school. It's horrible! However, there are ways of getting rid of it as quickly as possible; one of which is STAYING AWAKE. The only way to get rid of it is to completely reset your body clock to match the current time zone you are in. For me, it involved not taking naps during the day and making sure I stayed awake until night time.
This is the most emotional struggle I have had to deal with constantly and I still deal with. That first week away from your home, comfort zone, and puppies is so hard (really it is)! However, you will find a way around it. There's Skype, Google Hangout, Facetime, Oovoo, and another million ways to talk to your parents and loved ones. There are also phone calls, emails, and a bunch of other modern technologies (thank you science). The time zone might make it difficult to speak to your parents usually, but creating a schedule that both works for you and your family, where you are both available, usually helps.
Constantly converting money
Moving to a different country where you have to constantly spend money gets you paranoid. For the first month of being here, I LITERALLY converted every dollar I spent to Naira and Pounds (bi-cultural problems). It gets you grounded on not spending too much or spending too less. It really gives you a general amount on how to budget. I mean if you get sent an allowance in a different currency, you really just have to do this all the time.
Pronouncing words differently than Americans
*rolls eyes* This is the most annoying struggle for me. Rather than going into details, you can read about this struggle here
Find your home cuisine food
As a Nigerian, I am head over heels in love with Nigerian food. I am very picky with food usually but find it very difficult to say no to most Nigerian meals. It sure was a struggle finding one around here, in Staten Island; there is none. However, I did have friends from other African countries who had a similar cuisine to ours, and it was really nice to have food from home. If like me, you are used to food from your home country, this might be a struggle. Luckily there are a gazillion restaurants in the city that most likely have your home cuisine.
Irrespective of these problems, you will have offices like The Center for Intercultural Advancement to guide you through this struggles here at Wagner (and you can always reach out to me)!