After flying 18 hours from China on the other side of the world and settling into this quaint, small town called Princeton, I found myself face-to-face with culture shock, academically, socially and otherwise. Luckily, I feel reassured knowing that whenever I'm confronted with issues such as getting a visa or work permission, paying taxes, or overcoming cultural barriers and such, there is a reliable group of people at the Davis International Center who have got my back.
There is also a lot of interaction among international students. During International Orientation (a four-day pre-orientation before school starts), I made some great international friends that I'm still in touch with. The International Orientation for Class of 2018 happens August 27th - 30th 2014, and you should totally check it out! The Davis International Center Advisory Board does an excellent job organizing social events and lecture series for internationals. Every year there is a dinner during which they pair up international undergraduate students with international graduate students in the same field of study for an evening of bonding and mentorship. And I believe this mentorship initiative is going to be further expanded in the years to come.
Being international at Princeton presents us with a unique challenge. You get to decide how much you want to be "Americanized" and how much you want to keep your heritage. There are no right or wrong answers, and Princeton provides ample opportunities to pursue all of these options. I have had doubts making decisions, but I will not trade my experiences for anything else.