Linda's experience at the University of South Florida
We went to the University of South Florida and spoke with Linda, an international student from Sweden, about her experience attending the university with INTO.
How did you learn about USF? Why did you choose to study here?
I got to know about USF from signing up with my Swedish organization “Go Study” and they have a cooperation with INTO and INTO works with USF so that is why I attend. And they had other universities of course, but the reason I choose USF was mostly for the location and they only had this one in Florida.
Why do you think your INTO USF Program is a good fit for you?
I think my program is good because it lets us international students not become so stressed out in the beginning when coming to a new country with all new people, language and culture. It is definitely overwhelming so taking smaller classes is really helpful. I like how there is a lot of help and it is really interesting meeting all these people from other countries. The teachers are young but good. This program lets you accomplish what American students accomplish once they are done, but with this program it is easier for us to accomplish that same thing and get the same grades as the Americans. The first year helps us adjust to everything.
Was it easy to make friends?
Yes, it is because I feel very confident in my English already, and I have good social skills so for me it has never been a problem. But I know other international students from other countries who isolate themselves with their own kind, mostly I think it is because of their lack in speaking skills. You also have to be very open to all the new things and try new activities, reach out to people because they are interested in you.
Linda joined a sorority at USF, which helped her to meet people and get involved in new activities
What are some fun things to do in Tampa? Have you gone out with friends?
There are a lot of fun things to do on and off campus. There are lots of clubs and intramural sports you can join. If you are over 18, you can go out to clubs. They have concerts sometimes. And I have joined a sorority which is a great way of meeting people. And in Greek life there are lots of activities, like dance formals, charity work and sports.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when coming to, or preparing to come to, the US? How did INTO USF help?
Being away from your friends and family… but what helps is talking to the other international students that go through the same thing. You can help each other. I find it also good to keep yourself busy with school and other activities because the faster you adapt the better your stay will be. There is new stuff wherever you go and new people so you are never alone.
What advice would you give to a student studying in the United States for the first time?
Just enjoy it. It’s really important to try to adjust to the new culture. It is definitely not going to be like home; you are in a new place with new people so always keep an open mind. Try stuff you have never done before and really enjoy every moment of it.