Life in the USA
Discover the United States of America
The USA is a friendly and diverse place to live. Its size means you can experience everything from hot sunny deserts to snow-capped mountains, so you’re never far from an adventure.
What It’s Like to Live in America
America is known for its cultural impact on the Western world and its multicultural cities. The lifestyle is relaxed and varied, depending on whether you choose to live in a city, by the coast, in the vast mountains, or elsewhere.
Tradition and Progression
Texas is the second largest state in the USA, situated in the South of the country, along the border of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico. It is known for its traditional ‘cowboy’ lifestyle, where you can go and watch a rodeo and ride horses on a ranch. As well as all this, Texas is home to several growing cities that specialise in commerce, media and technology.
The University is in Waco, with the Brazos River running through the campus. It is within driving distance of Dallas, Houston and Austin, and students regularly travel within the state for internships and work experience.
Living in Waco
Waco is a smaller city. The campus sits between two bridges on the river, which you cross to get to the sports stadium. Students can go sailing and have a tradition of getting to games via boat, known as “sail-gating”, a twist on the classic American tradition of tail-gating before games.
The campus is very large, which means that Baylor students usually stay on campus or close by throughout their studies, everything you need is already there, from sports to shops and restaurants.
Being in the South, Waco is warm throughout the year, with hot summers and mild winters. Blue skies and dry weather are normal, so you can participate in outdoor sports throughout the year and enjoy eating lunch in the various gardens around the campus.
International travel to Waco is easy. It’s 1.5 hours drive from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and 3 hours from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
Once you’re in the USA, there are local buses and taxis you can use to get around the area if you don't own a car. However, for travel further afield within the USA, it’s most common to fly between cities or catch a Greyhound bus for smaller budgets.
As an international student, you will need your immigration documents and a form of identification to fly from state-to-state.
The USA is a safe place to live, but like any city in the world it's good to know how you can get help if you require it. Your safety while studying abroad is a top priority, which is why most universities have an on-campus police service. Baylor University has its own police department and emergency points situated around campus in case students need urgent assistance. As an international student, you are subject to the same laws and protection as American citizens so you've always got someone to contact in an emergency.
The American health care system is respected as one of the best in the world, but it is also expensive. Many colleges and universities provide student health insurance plans, and offer medical care on campus. When you apply, you will receive details of what is available to ensure you are covered from your first day on campus.
The official currency in the USA is the U.S. dollar (USD/$). Having a bank account based in the USA will make it cheaper and easier to manage your finances while studying abroad. You can set up a bank account and debit card when you arrive, which the International Study Center will help you with. You will be able to easily pay with both cash and card in most shops, bars and restaurants.
Arriving in a new country for the first time is exciting but can also be intimidating in the first few days while you get used to your new surroundings. It is perfectly normal to experience 'culture shock' during this time, but it will fade after you have got into a new routine and made friends.
Most universities are experienced in helping students to adjust to living in the USA. At Baylor, the International Study Center will be ready to help you with any questions or concerns you have during the first few weeks and ongoing during your studies here.
Texas is the second-largest state in the USA. Waco is located in central Texas.
From China to the USA
Baylor’s lively campus community will welcome you from your first day. Find out how you can get involved.
Find out why Baylor makes the perfect choice for international students looking for an elite education and supportive environment.