Pre-Departure Orientation for Taiwanese Students


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This presentation is intended to help Taiwanese students who are planning to travel to the U.S. to begin a program of study. It contains Information regarding academic, cultural, immigration and logistical issues.

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Pre-Departure Orientation for Taiwanese Students

  1. 1. Pre-Departure Orientation for Taiwanese StudentsBy Carol Reyes Taipei City, May 24, 2012
  2. 2. About EducationUSA Supported by U.S. Department of State Provides accurate, comprehensive, impartial information to international students about the U.S. education system and study in the U.S. 400+ centers in 170 countries
  3. 3. What are we discussing today?Before and during travel to the U.S. Packing tips Important documents to carry with you Airport logisticsIn the U.S. (You’ve arrived… now what?) First things first! Academic culture in the classroom and academic writing Logistics (Housing, transportation, finances, etc.) Questions and comments!
  4. 4. Question # 1! You finally meet the advisor you have been emailing for the past four months. How do you greet him? A: Hug B: Bow C: Shake hands D: Kiss on cheek
  5. 5. Question # 2! Your roommate invites you to go to synagogue with her. You are not Jewish. However, you say: A: Yes, because you don’t want to offend her B: No, because you’re not Jewish C: Yes, for a cultural experience
  6. 6. Question # 3! A new American friend invites you to her house for dinner and KTV. She says you can come “around 6.” What time should you arrive? A: 5:45 B: 6:00 C: 6:15 D: 6:30
  7. 7. Question # 4! A classmate invites you to grab lunch with him, who pays? A: You pay B: He pays C: You split it
  8. 8. Congratulations!!!
  9. 9. Before Arrival: Traveling to the United States
  10. 10. Packing Tips: Part I Are you going to have a roommate?  Contact him or her ASAP!  If your roommate is not Taiwanese, bring a gift from Taiwan to share your culture  Pineapple cake, Oolong tea, souvenirs
  11. 11. Packing Tips: Part II  Don’t overpack!  Winter blankets, sheets, and coats are better to buy in the U.S.  Walmart, Target, TJ Max Don’t forget medications (prescription vs. over-the- counter) Buy used furnishings and books to save $$$   
  12. 12. You’re boarding the plane!Important Documents to Bring With You Passport (and a copy of your passport)-Valid for 6 months or more-Non-immigrant visa Certificate of eligibility-1-20 or DS-2019 (issued by school or program) Copy of letter of acceptance from school U.S. Cash (Suggested $50-$100) International Student Office (ISO) Contact Information
  13. 13. At the Airport1. Hand-carry passport 2. Complete 1-94 Card 3. Customs will takeand Certificate of (Arrival/Departure your biometricEligibility record) fingerprints and(I-20 or DS-2019) photograph.
  14. 14. Airplane Logistics Check airline for baggage rules Plan arrival transportation-Does your university pick you up? Contact ISO to find out! Shuttle servicesSuper shuttle www.supershuttle.comPrimetime Shuttle
  15. 15. While in the United States Upon Arrival Academics Logistics (Housing,banking, transportation)
  16. 16. Upon Arrival (I arrived…now what?) Contact the International Student Office!-It is very important to tell them you arrived-Give them updated address and phone number-Ask about international student orientation Get a phone number so you can be reached Get a student ID card-Transportation, access, discounts Set up computer account-To use for all academic matters and assignments
  17. 17. Academics: Who will you be studying with?The top five countries comprise over53%
  18. 18. U.S. Academic Culture PUNCTUALITY, punctuality, punctuality!!! Informal classroom settings (sometimes student-led) Teacher-centered vs. student-centered learning Example 1 Example 2 Group work and projects Exams and assignments (in-class, take-home or online) CourseloadDon’t overwhelm yourself !
  19. 19. In the Classroom:It’s important to participate actively!Your grades will be based on: Frequent class participation Presentations, group projects, peer evaluations U.S. Values Internships or practical experiences  Personal responsibility (practicum)  Freedom of choice Research or response papers & exams and quizzes  Democratic principles  Interactive learning  Independent thinking
  20. 20. Role of Academic Adviser Helps students select courses and monitor academic progress Discuss short and long-term professional plans with students Open and frequent communication between student and adviser is strongly encouraged
  21. 21. Interacting with Professors Observe how professor requests to be addressed Seek out your professor and adviser Relaxed dress or body language do not indicate relaxed performance standards Be Proactive: take advantage of office hours
  22. 22. Academic Writing Develop your own ideas or thesis; do not copy! “Plagiarism is using or imitating another person’s “language, thoughts, ideas or expressions” and presenting it as your own. Consequences Suspension or expulsion Citing resources:  
  23. 23. The U.S. Grading System Grade Point Average (GPA) - Four point scale A, B, C, D, and F (+, -)A= 4 points, B= 3 points, C= 2 points, etc. Pass/Fail grading system “Auditing” courses Opportunity to evaluate your professors!
  24. 24. Setting up a bank account Find a local branch or ask for suggestionsBring: passport, school ID, visa, I-20 and I-94 You don’t need a social security numberBenefits: CheckbooksRent is usually paid by check Debit card Online payments (online shopping) Save on international fees Special checking accounts for students
  25. 25. Living on Campus Disadvantages Advantages  Less privacy  Location! You are very close to campus so you don’t have  Usually more expensive to worry about transportation  Sharing a bathroom  Easier to meet other students  Less space for storage  Utilities (Internet, air conditioning, cable, water)  Usually, roommates are are included in the price assigned by the school  Usually include meal plan
  26. 26. Living Off-CampusTo think about: Finances-Monthly rent, utilities and meals Neighborhood (safety, convenience) Is the apartment furnished? Washer and dryer? Other amenities? Will you have a quiet place to study?To search for housing:Housing listingwww.craigslist.orgTransportation (distance to school?)
  27. 27. Meal Plans Convenient if you live on campus Dining halls are common forsocial gatherings When choosing a plan…Think about:-How many meals do you need?(Allow yourself the option of eatingout sometimes)-Can you eat at all dining halls?-Is there a variety of food choices?(vegetarian, international, etc.)
  28. 28. Maintaining Status You may enter the U.S. with student visa up to 30 days prior to the start of your program Contact International Student Office ASAP Must be a full-time student Working with a student visa:  Only allowed to work on-campus  20 hours per week during classes  40 hours per week during vacations
  29. 29. Tips for Saving Money Buy used books Rent books from the library Work on campus Use public transportation Buy groceries and cook at home Live with friends! Use student discounts Use free Internet on campus
  30. 30. TransportationDriving in the U.S. Contact your ISO or the local Department of Motor Vehicles There are serious consequences for drinking and driving. For general information:
  31. 31. Transportation Local transportation: -Bicycles are a very popular option on many campuses -Public transport (buses or subways in large cities) Long distances: -Plane (,,, -Train ( -Rental cars (must be 25 or older)
  32. 32. Student Life: Get involved! Clubs (dance, sports, culture, hobbies) Intramural sports Student organizations (academic, social, volunteering) Greek life (fraternities, sororities) Cultural events Campus cafes/bars/restaurants
  33. 33. Review Who is the first person you should contact when you arrive at your university? What is the legal drinking age in the U.S.? Who should you talk to if you are having academic problems? What is plagiarism? Is it okay to plagiarize?
  34. 34. Review What is a GPA? Is being punctual an important value in the U.S.? How many hours a week can you work on campus during the academic year? What are three advantages and disadvantages of living in a campus dormitory?
  35. 35. Questions or comments? Clarence Fu EducationUSA Adviser Carol Reyes Advising Intern