How to get through school in your host country

Authored By:

Cristina P.

"I barely know how to study in my native language, how am I supposed to get through school in my host country?!" That's a question that popped in my head multiple times before coming to America. If you relate, keep reading and you'll may change your mind, I did! First of all, breath and don't panic. 

It may seem overwhelming and extremely hard but, trust me, if you're able to read this blog post and you can follow along an episode of "Friends" on Netflix without too many problems, you will be okay in school. I'm not saying that it's going to be as easy as pie but if you are ready to put some effort and use the translator for the hard words, it is totally doable.

The main advice that I feel like sharing is "PAY ATTENTION IN CLASS!!". If you can manage to pass the class in your home country not paying attention and doodling in your notebook it doesn't mean it's going to work in your host country. I mean, you may be okay but I don't suggest it. If you're going to America, you will have seven or eight periods every day and almost all of the work is done in class; learning in a different language is harder than what you are used to and you will be so mentally tired when you get home after school that the last thing you will want to do is make up for what you didn't learn in class. To be honest, if in Italy I had optional homework I didn't even try to do it but here I realized how important it is and how helpful it is.

This leads to my second advice: "DO YOUR HOMEWORK". In my American school, homework is worth points, affecting my grade and that helped me at first, when I had no motivation. It's true, it's boring to do homework and sometimes you just want to nap but, again, trust me, it will help you. To make you feel better I can tell you that almost every teacher will leave you some work time in class every week to finish your homework, which is always nice!

In conclusion, if you just pay attention in class and you do your homework, you are more than halfway done and you will just need to do the minimum work before tests because you will already know the things you need to know. I hope I helped some of you who were very scared of school in your host country and I hope that you will succeed and get good grades!