Challenges of adjusting to a new daily life in Iowa

It is a dream for most people to study abroad. The main reason to study abroad is to have new experiences like here in Iowa. Neither ready nor not ready, but people should know how to adjust to life in Iowa by seeing through four main aspects that are time zone, environment, weather and culture.   

As we fly miles away from our family, relatives, and friends, the first thing that we will face is the time zone. Most international students can be from Asia, Africa, and Europe. The enormous difference of time zones is between America and Asia time zones so far. For example, one Asian student that filled a survey that I made, she said Myanmar is almost a day ahead which it has 12 hours 30 minutes ahead. These time zone differences cause students to have jet lag in the first weeks, even in a month. This experience has affected international adjusting the time zone by trying to do activities based on the local time including bedtime.   

The second thing is the environment. International students will easily adjust to the different environments because they might find a bit differences in transportation, markets, and shops. It starts with how the environmental location is where they stay, recognize the resident house management, the security and safety, get involved in the neighborhood and serenity in the environment itself is essential too. Also, they need to know distances to go somewhere such as schools, shops, churches, parks and so on. For transportation, international students need to learn bus routes and available times/days. Additionally, some international students will search for a way to buy groceries online.   

The weather is another topic that international students like to discuss with their mentor family, local friends, and people in schools. They will be so excited to enter different seasons in Iowa. They get ready to experience wintertime because it will be a first-time moment for some students. Having warm clothes and learning how to cook comforting meals during winter are necessary to do for adjustments according to the weather. Also, it is so habitual and helpful to always check weather forecasts daily/weekly. Furthermore, international students should learn what kinds of storms could happen in the different seasons in Iowa.  

However, acknowledging culture differences and similarities is a way to adjust to life here in Iowa. One of similarities in culture could be discovered is shaking hands as a greeting way when you meet new people as people introduce themselves or shaking hands while meet relatives as we ask, “How are you doing?” in any event. But it could be a diverse cultural habit to greet people from other countries. So, it is important for students to attend orientations to learn about culture in Iowa.  

Living in the new area could be a challenge for anybody who has it as a very first experience to study overseas. We can have obstacles and struggle to adjust to changes of life that we need to be fit in so we can achieve our goals as we study aboard. 

Categories: Opinion