First of all let me start by stating the following proverb:
“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.” ― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
I did my undergraduate studies in Economics from University of Adelaide (Australia). Few things come to my mind about the journey:
- As soon as you reach the destination, try visiting the International student center. They are extremely helpful in making your transition smooth. In addition, attending orientation is always helpful too.
- If you have received a stipend, make sure you have all your bank details set up to pass it through.
- Try reaching at least a week before your classes commence. You need some time to adapt.
- Get with the housing related matters soon enough so that everything is set up as soon as you reach.
Academics Related stuff:
- Try always to be ahead before attending lectures. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to digest something new in a short span of time. The material can be very time consuming at times to observe completely.
- Meet the faculty members about any kind of issues you have with the material. This is important and helpful for future academic/professional references.
- Be regular in meeting deadlines. Lagging behind can make you frustrated sometime to handle academic pressure.
- Attend departmental seminars if any. Talking to presenters will help you find your research area. You never know!
- Socialize, socialize and socialize. What I mean by this is that: Talk to faculty members. You will be surprised how interesting the conversation can get when you meet them outside your lecture room!
- If you are a teaching assistant: Make sure you have all your priorities set accordingly. Remember you have something more important on your plate. DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR ACADEMIC PLANS. If you face any problems, talk to the instructor or the department chair.
After you finish: If you plan to have a job, it is always optimal to attend the job/career seminars/expo. This happens almost at every university annually. It is important you talk to employers and speak about your academic experience and interests. There will be lots of opportunities to expose your skill set. Also try doing some research on the firm/company you are interested in working.
Now, if you are interested to pursue further studies, I would recommend to talk to faculty members on what courses will make your academic profile stronger and also for places to apply. Doing some research work for a faculty member can help your application as well.
Lastly, remember you are here to pursue something. Keep working hard and you get your reward in no time. Disclaimer: The above suggestions are completely subjective.