This guide has been prepared for International students to read and refer to during your time here. It gives you information about American customs and describes some points that may be different from your culture.
Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs Buying and selling illicit drugs is illegal in the U.S. If you are found with these drugs, you may be arrested. Animals/Pets
It can also be helpful to know how other people will expect you to behave, and will behave toward you while you’re away from home. Having a basic understanding of culture and etiquette can help avoid awkward misunderstandings for you, the people you meet, and the new friends you’ll make!
What makes studying abroad fun and interesting is the opportunity to observe and learn about the culture and traditions of people on your campus and in your community
We’re very pleased that you’ve chosen to study in the USA, here at Penn State Harrisburg in Middletown, Pennsylvania, and we wish you many good experiences while you’re here with us!
Thank you to our Global Ambassadors who shared their insights and experiences in this guide. Thanks also to Wendy Moynihan, the coordinator of the International Student Support Services, who put together this much-needed resource.
“Since I did not come to the United States until last summer, everything for me was new at the very beginning. First, I think people here are welcoming. Usually when people in China see strangers, they ignore them and keep doing what they are doing. Things are different here, however. When I’m walking on campus, people I don’t even know say hello or smile at me all the time. Now, when I see them, I will do the same thing. But in China, I don’t think I would ever do that. People in China might think you are creepy or strange. They would ask, “I do Volledig gratis fietserdatersites not even know her, why is she smiling at me?” I always pay attention to those little things. Maybe some international students will not regard it as a big deal, but this makes me feel like Penn State Harrisburg is a big family.
Secondly, almost every professor allows us to eat during class. If eating can help students concentrate better in class, why not? It differs from my hometown, since eating in class is totally banned. One day, I did not have enough time to have lunch, so I brought some cookies to class. I didn’t know students could take a bite of food here, so I grabbed the cookie quickly into my month when the professor turned back to write on the board. My friend sitting next to me wrote “What R U DOING” on her notebook, and I wrote “EATING” back. She laughed out loud after class and told me that I did not have to act like this, because most professors allow us to do so.
In China, we have been told that it is necessary to show respect to our teachers. We have to be serious and there is almost no joking in the classroom. Everything in class is formal. However, I experienced something totally different here. My English teacher sometimes brought homemade desserts to us. I still remember when she knew my birthday was coming, she baked a special kind of cookies for all of my classmates and they sang the Happy Birthday song to me. I was touched by this and I will never forget it, since I would never have this experience if I still studied in my home country.” (Ziyuhan “Ariel” Wang, China)