global gateway program

wHen you get here

What to expect in your first week at university

University of Vermont students chat in Burlington city center

So, you have done the hard part; you have packed up, said goodbye to friends and family, and moved to another country. Now it is time to enjoy yourself! It is easy to feel overwhelmed with such a big change, but UVM’s pathway programs are designed to support you from the beginning. Your first week will include a range of activities and workshops designed to show you what to expect from your time here, and introduce you to your classmates.

Orientation week

All international students are required to attend orientation week at UVM. It is important to attend because it gives you time to adjust before your course starts. Activities are designed to provide information on your UVM experience and help you make friends. Aspects include:

  • Adjusting to life in the US
  • Campus/city tour
  • Quizzes and group activities
  • Understanding the US classroom
  • Health and safety at UVM.

Find more information on Orientation 2018 here

What can you do to settle in?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to help yourself feel at home is to make some small changes your room. You do not have to spend a lot of money; just a few personal touches will make a big difference. Give your room some personality to make it feel more like home, and it will seem more welcoming to friends you invite over. Put up a few of your favorite photos, some posters, or some string lights – you'll be surprised at how much it brightens the space.

Take the time to look around

Finding food from your home country may be comforting to you as you adjust to US life. There are plenty of restaurants in your new hometown of Burlington, serving a range of different foods. Better still, get ingredients from one of Burlington’s international food markets, and cook for your new friends! It is a chance to bond, and they will enjoy the opportunity to learn more about your culture.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself

Remember that it is okay – even normal - to be homesick at the beginning. You may be away from home for the first time, or you may just feel a long way away. Try to turn it into a positive and embrace the opportunity to be independent! You can do what you want, when you want, and learning to live alone is a valuable life skill. At the International Study Center, you will never be far away from support, and you will have lots of opportunities to form close friendships.

Get involved

 Follow us on social media using the hashtags #MyUVMStory and #YouAreWelcomeHere. We want to see your stories of university life in the US.

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. See our information for current students, or if your course has not yet started read our FAQs.