College is difficult. Moving from your hometown and going to another state or city is even harder. However, to uproot your life, moving miles away from your home to another country where your culture can be considered a minority with almost no support system seems like an almost impossible feat. Yet, every year, this is religiously done. 

More than 1 million students travel to the U.S each year for their higher education studies, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Despite the sheer number of international students spread across the States, life as an international student can still be very stressful and difficult. When I moved to New York from Trinidad and Tobago last September, I initially thought that I would be able to acclimate easily and that the process of “Becoming a New Yorker” would be a simple one. After all, I watch college students on shows and television series all the time right?

Months later, I had never felt so down. I missed my home, my friends, and most importantly, the flavors and tastes of the Trinbago culture. Luckily for me, I did have some family in the city and they definitely helped me with my transition. However, many international students don't have this luxury and often face these issues and many others such as homesickness, financial difficulty and an inability to adapt to cultural change. 

Tip 1: Meal plan for the week ahead

vegetable, pepper, zucchini, meat
Christin Urso

College is all about being organized! Instead of going day by day r, setting and creating a quick plan for the week can go a long way. It enables you to plan and acquire necessary ingredients or set aside finances for others. Of course, spontaneous cravings occur and you'll feel something else, such as my random cravings for Hawaiian pizza (yes, pineapple belongs on pizza and you can't change my mind) and that's fine. However, you won't be struggling to decide what to cook or what to eat everyday. This can also help motivate you to make similar plans academically when it comes to assignments and finals in the form of a study plan and can help massively.

Tip 2: Budget for dining out and tailor expectations

twenty, 20, dollar, bill, cash, money, Pay
Caroline Ingalls

College students spend up to or over $700 to dine off campus every ???.. It's very easy to get carried away exploring your local college area and going out to dine every week with friends. But this can be expensive, especially if you live in a city, such as New York. While it's always nice to be able to dine at restaurants, tailoring your expectations and being financially responsible can go a long way. Instead of dining out once a week, try aiming for once every two weeks can work depending on your situation.. Also, try smaller establishments that may be cheaper or more affordable without sacrificing high quality food.

Tip 3: Use coupons and loyalty programs 

Using coupons and loyalty programs are a great way of saving money. Groceries tend to have coupon books and info magazines that details the weekly savings and deals that are on offer. You can incorporate this in your weekly planning from tip one to build your meal plan. With grocery couponing, you can help save hundreds of dollars per month in spending and that money can be then used for other financial decisions that you might face later on

Tip 4: There is more than one way to cook instant ramen 

ramen, vegetable, pasta
Ashly Kim

Instant ramen seems to be a go-to meal for college students suffering financial trouble. Being a rather cheap and tasty meal, you can never go wrong with having a cup of ramen noodles. However, there are many opportunities to get creative when eating and making this meal. From adding boiled eggs and kimchi and other veggies to more extreme measures such as adding Cheetos and other outlandish sounding ideas, it pays and literally tastes good to be creative. Here are some creative ideas from fellow Spoon writers, Khasey Keith and Sue Lee that you can try! 

Tip 5: Use food apps to your advantage

Everyone loves saving money, and food brands know this. Many of your popular fast food and go-to staples actually offer rewards and discounts for using their mobile apps. In this technological age, it is more important than ever for brands to diversify and reach out to customers using various methods and you can take full advantage of that where possible. For example, establishments such as Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle will give you free food items and redeemable rewards based on your spending on their apps. Check out other Spoon-approved food apps here.

Moving away from home to go to college can be very difficult, but not impossible. When it comes to food, there are many ways to survive in a new climate and environment and remain successful academically. Using the tips above and any more that you come across, you can adapt to college life much better and quicker and make the most of every moment possible!