Sabrine Hamdi, 2nd Year Global Health Student
Hello and welcome to Rollins!
I decided to write a brief and straight to the point blog for my fellow international students.
I was in your shoes last year, and I remember how stressful this period is. I have noticed that many interesting points regarding the available resources were already covered by my fellow Rollins ambassadors. I will jump ahead and give you some quick tips on what you should do right before coming and in your first weeks here:
1 – Go there
As previously mentioned in other blogs, there are miscellaneous services and resources provided for international students at Rollins and in Emory generally. Other than checking the websites, I advise you to go and check their locations on your first week in Atlanta. Do not wait until you need something to start figuring out your way to those offices. Do it in your spare time. Go there, introduce yourself and get to know more about what they offer in person. Undoubtedly, you will feel much better when you concretely see that those people are there for you, to make sure that you have an instructive, pleasant and safe experience here.
Here are some useful links:
2 – Use apps and maps
Become familiar with the Emory shuttles prior to your arrival. You should consider checking the website to learn more about the different routes and even download the “TransLoc” application on your smart phone to track the shuttles in real time. They will make your life easier, except that the majority don’t run on the weekends. However, they are really convenient and above all riding those shuttles is FREE.
Regarding maps, Google map is a treasure. Whether you want to go to the airport or shopping in the big malls or just find your way home when you go jogging. Always use Google map to know which bus number to take (Marta), how long the walking distance is and so on. If you already know what I am talking about, then, it is good for you. If not, then it is time to learn about it. Here is the link:
3 – Get involved
There are many organizations in our school and university – from faith groups to health related ones. There will be many activities, and events going on as soon as the academic year starts. I urge you to get involved. It might sound obvious for some of you, but I know that many will be shy. But believe me, it will help you manage homesickness and get a sense of American culture.
During your first weeks in Atlanta or even your first semester, instead of spending hours Skyping with your family (which you will definitely be doing), go out and connect. Build a new support system and merge yourself in this new world.
4 – Ask for help!
There is no shame in asking for help or assistance when needed. In some cultures it is not common to do so, while in others it is absolutely normal. Don’t let your fear of being judged or misunderstood hinder you from seeking help. Whenever you are struggling academically, emotionally or simply need answers to some questions. All you have to do is reach out to professionals or peers. The Rollins and Emory University’s staff, Rollins ambassadors, the department representatives and the members of the international student advisory board are here for you.
Here is a link to Emory Healthcare:
Best of luck and see you soon at the International Student Orientation!