The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Deciding to go abroad in the United States was one of the best decisions in my life. I decided to study a two-year full-time International MBA program at the University of South Carolina – Moore School of Business.
The willingness to add credentials to my CV, experience the global learning, and find job opportunities across the globe dragged me to an MBA program in the US. Apart from the global learning experience, I picked up certain habits while studying there. Like me, many expat students develop new habits during their stay in a foreign country. These habits can be related to eating, hobbies, or an overall different lifestyle.
Many of you will find similar habits you picked up while studying abroad in the US. You can add more to the list:
1) Driving for long hours
As Americans are accustomed to driving for long hours, I also developed the habit of driving easily for long hours across the inter-state for different reasons- work or fun. In the US, people love to drive and they travel on an average of less than 10,000 miles per annum.
2) Comfortable dressing style
I got to understand why people, specifically students, prefer comfortable cloths over stylish attire in South Carolina only when I started living there. The humidity and heat in the place made me to choose baggy t-shirts, shorts and slip-ons combination. “Flannel shirts” or shirts are more than acceptable at any occasion and are comfortable. This was the time when I said ‘goodbye’ to my old style of clothing and donned the comfortable attire.
3) Offered tips
Visiting bars or restaurants and offering no tip to service staff member is considered disrespectful. Mostly hanging out with my American friends, I also became accustomed to tipping. Now when I am back to India, my home country, I am still in a habit of giving tips at restaurants and other service related outlets.
4) Team spirit
I really loved and adopted the way American students maintained the team spirit. For students from across the nation, it is an opportunity to study abroad and learn about their culture. I was completely fond of this kind of team spirit.
5) Travel during weekends
When you get a chance to live and study in a beautiful place like the US, you cannot let go off your desire to travel and see nearby places. I also had one “must-see” list with me before going abroad. I used to book all my weekends to travel with college friends. Though there are endless travelling destinations in South Carolina, some major attractions for me included Myrtle Beach, Carolina Opry, USS Yorktown and Patriots Point, and Kiawah Island.
6) More involvement in sports games
Watching live sport games or playing them was one of my favorite things to do. The football team at my campus developed my liking for games. The idea of watching the American football game was a thing that I could not miss at all.
7) Vocal about thoughts
Good or bad, I have become more vocal about my opinion on different issues. The improved verbal skill was a result of the kind of class participation that existed in American institutions. This new habit has made me more confident to present my views, which will definitely help me in my professional life.
8) Developed taste buds for yogurt
When you live in the US, frozen yogurt is one thing you would like to have at the end of every day. The yogurt café was my regular hangout with friends during midweeks.
My study abroad experience taught me many things that are sure to pave a successful career path for me. Apart from all these habits, one more thing that I picked up was not to worry about things and look for a way out. Moreover, I have learned to use the study abroad advantage in my professional life.
Therefore, do not hesitate to go abroad for higher studies. An exciting life is waiting to welcome you!
About the Author
Swati Srivastava is an avid writer and a blogger who loves to share her knowledge and ideas on a wide range of educational and career related topics. Her articles are published on various reputed websites like Shiksha.com. Follow her on Google+.