Keertana Vellanki Headshot

Let’s face it, moving away from home to another city for college is a huge change. I faced that change during undergrad. But moving to another country for college is a completely different challenge, and I cordially welcome all the international students to NC State University. As an international student myself, these are a few things that can help you along the way. 

Learn your public transit. NC State University has a great bus service: the Wolfline. The TransLoc app has information regarding the bus routes, bus stops and the timings. If you are in the bus, here are a few things to remember — the front doors of the bus are for boarding and the middle doors are for deboarding. When you see your bus stop approaching, remember to pull that yellow cord which acts as a signal for the driver to stop the bus. The bus does not stop at every bus stop unless you pull the cord.

Stay connected with home. Take time to reconnect with your friends from your home country. Staying away from your family and friends is not easy. That’s when the internet comes into the picture. Make a schedule for video calls with your family and friends. They will keep you sane and give you the much needed dose of home.

Sometimes, just buy it. One piece of advice I really wish someone gave me during my first days is to not convert the price of a product from dollars to the equivalent of your homeland’s currency. Some things are necessities. So just go ahead and buy instead of comparing.

Take time to research a course before selecting it. The way you perceive a course through its description can be completely different to the way the course is actually outlined. Talk to students who have taken the course in a previous semester and make a decision if the course is what you are looking for.

Be open to new experiences. Food, friends, part time jobs or travel — make sure you are exploring everything Raleigh offers. Dorothea Dix Park, Lake Raleigh, Lake Crabtree and Pullen Park are some of the places you must visit. Hillsborough Street also has a couple of really amazing restaurants.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember that gratitude and kindness go a long way. People are always ready to help others. Be thankful to everyone who has helped you and help people when it is your turn to give back.

Keep a positive attitude. Things might be different here. There may be weeks when you are swamped with course work. It might get overwhelming after a while. During times like such, a positive attitude and hope can go a long way.

Take advantage of the surplus sale. NC State University has a surplus sale that takes place every two weeks. You can find furniture for really affordable prices there. Try not to purchase the heavy stuff because moving them to your house can be really difficult. 

Moving across the globe is never easy. But it's a brave thing. You are leaving a part of who you were to embrace the part of who you want to be in the future. You have already done the hard part by relocating. The path from now on won’t be easy but the path till here can be a good time to look back for strength during tough times. So stay strong. 

Go Pack and welcome to NC State!