Studying in America and Canada  
7.3 Settling In

Your immediate tasks are "checking in" at your college, looking for steady accommodations and taking care of miscellaneous items.

7.3.1 Checking-In at Your College

You should visit the college campus to get a sense of where everything is and to meet some key individuals.

It is advisable to carry your documents on you at all times for the first few days.

Your first stop should be the international student advisor. In America, you are required to hand in a copy of the student authorization to the international student advisor. Regardless, the advisor can identify and help you with all the items of immediate concern.

If you have been offered a research assistantship, you should meet with your supervisor to:

  • Notify the supervisor that you have arrived.
  • Initiate preliminary discussions on your research project.
  • Discuss the courses you should take.

You should act on your research supervisorís recommendations.

If you have been offered teaching assistantship, you should visit your department to notify them of your arrival and to find out what steps you need to take next.

You should find out from your department the registration schedule and process. You are expected to register for courses to officially become a student at the college. Register at your earliest. You will be required to take certain courses, but you would have wide latitude in selecting other courses. Even after registering for courses, you can change your course selection up to a certain time beyond the start of your term. Some colleges have graduate coordinators or academic advisors who are good resources.

Try to meet other students in your department in particular and at your college in general. Other students can offer you valuable advice, guidance and insights. Start making friends. You may wish to visit your student association as well.

All in all, you would need to do some additional paperwork and register for courses. Meet key people and start making friends.

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