On June 9, 2020, EducationUSA was proud to hold the annual Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) for students planning to attend university in the fall in the United States. The event was held online through Zoom in order to accommodate COVID-19 precautions. The PDO included dozens of students and family members and guest speakers–including former CCC student Iván Camps Abad

Iván with friends at a Phillies baseball game!

Iván was a member of the 2018 CCC senior cohort who went on to study physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Iván spoke to excited students about living in the United States and getting to know his new city: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also talked about his experiences at school, including attending sports games, volunteering, and balancing everything with his school work. 

Here’s some of the great tips Iván gave on adapting to American life as a freshman college student:

  1. Find your niche and be open minded by joining clubs, teams, and volunteer groups! Not only are they super fun, but you will meet a lot of new people and gain cool experiences.
  2. Make friends with upperclassmen, not just students in your academic year! Older students can really help you adjust to your new life on campus. 
  3. The truth is that academics are going to be really challenging. Make sure to develop a strong work ethic and be honest about scheduling in the time you will need for homework.
  4. Don’t forget to make use of resources on campus like the library, office hours, counseling, etc; they are there to help you! 
  5. Make time for yourself! Take care of your health and happiness, explore the city/town you’re in, and–most importantly–have fun!

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