Welcome to the USA
The First Few Days
Students will probably arrive very tired. They may have
had emotional good-byes at home, a long plane flight, and
perhaps several busy days of orientation immediately prior
••The Family. During the first few days, the host family
may wish to orient the student to its own rules and
procedures that make living together possible. These
are the things needed for the student to fit in. This
includes such things as meal schedules: Do all family
members eat together at a certain time? Does everyone
get his or her own breakfast and clean up after
themselves? What food items are for snacking? Where
do family members put dirty laundry?
How to handle washing and ironing clothes, how to
use the telephone and other household operating
procedures should be discussed. The host family should
explain anything the student might assume. Students’
assumptions are based on the lifestyle they led before
and may have been quite different from the family’s
lifestyle. For example, some students may not
be accustomed to carrying door keys and locking doors
when leaving because their homes were never left
••The Neighborhood/Community. The student may
wish to see the surroundings, be able to get to the post
office, the community college, the bank, and know how
to use public transportation, especially if she will be
taking the bus to the college.
Broad participation by faculty, staff, US students, and
community leaders in these welcome events is strongly
Other practical matters will also be covered during the week
of arrival activities. Students will be instructed, for example,
on course registration procedures. Required and optional
placement examinations will also be arranged.
Initial Adjustments: Physical and Emotional
Minor physical upsets sometimes occur because of the
big changes in the student’s life. It is not uncommon for
students to experience stomach troubles, irregularity, or
missed menstrual periods within the first few weeks of their
stay. These come from a combination of many factors such
as change in diet, time difference, anxiety, and excitement.
When the student begins to feel more comfortable and
develops a routine, the symptoms will probably disappear.
In the first few days and weeks, a relaxed atmosphere is
The Adjustment Cycle
There is a fairly predictable cycle of adjustment for
The cycle is predictable, normal, and healthy, but not
everyone experiences all of the stages or in any set order.
Students may wish to buy stamps, change money, and
open a checking account right away. They may also wish
to shop. The temptation to buy many things because
there is so much to buy is frequently a problem for
students. They usually find the first months the most
difficult on their budgets.
••The Community College. During the first week after
students arrive, Campus Coordinators will conduct
a series of arrival activities specifically designed
to introduce YFU students to campus services and
facilities as well as community institutions, services,
businesses, schools, and the cultural environment.
Stage 1: Isn’t that interesting! This is when the newly arrived
student is excited about everything and sees things as novel
and interesting. Reactions are of pleasure and excitement.
The student tends to be the center of attention.
Stage 2: The thrill is gone.... Routine begins to set in,
the student becomes accustomed to the environment,
CCP HANDBOOK - 35