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What to Expect in the U.S.

Even though traveling to the United States in pursuit of higher education is an exciting and rewarding experience, we understand you may be worried about the American culture and way of life. After all, it’s a lot different what what you see in the movies and on television.

Our international students have prepared this guide to help you learn what life is like at Keuka College and in the United States.

Class Environment

Classes are usually small, with an average of 20 students per class depending on your major. Professors are respectful and excited about the subjects that they teach; they take the time to learn your name and enjoy being involved in your college experience. Keuka College’s professors and staff members create a supportive environment that allows each student to achieve personal and academic goals.

Climate and Weather

One of the numerous advantages to studying at our Keuka Park campus is the ability to experience four very distinct seasons.

Summer days can occasionally reach the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) during the day. In the fall, leaves change to a marvelous display of deep reds, yellows, and oranges, and temperatures average in the 50s Fahrenheit (10s Celsius). The winter brings cold weather, sometimes in the single digits (around -20° Celsius) and students enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities in the snow. The spring, temperatures average around 65° Fahrenheit (about 18° Celsius).


Americans typically choose to dress comfortably and casually. Good winter clothes are essential, and  buying them here is often a better option for those coming from a warmer climate. For special events, such as making a presentation in class, students usually wear business casual or professional attire.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

In New York state, the minimum age to consume alcohol is 21; the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products is 18. Smoking is not permitted inside public buildings (including residence halls), bars, or restaurants in the State of New York state. Smoking is permitted outside on the Keuka College campus.

Underage drinking and any form of drug use is not tolerated on the Keuka College campus.

Fun and Recreation

There is always a lot going on at Keuka College, such as screened movies, musicians, hypnotists, minigame shows, bingo, creative activities, sporting events, and much more. For more information on things to do at Keuka College, visit the Web pages of the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Campus Recreation. Keuka College is located in Keuka Park which is two hours and thirty minutes from Niagara Falls, forty minutes from Watkins Glen State Park, and one hour from the world renown Corning Museum of Glass.

If you want to get off campus, the Waterloo Outlet Mall is only 45 minutes away, or the Windmill Market a mere 20 minutes away. For more options, the Rochester area is just an hour drive from Keuka College. The Keuka van takes students to most of these venues each week.

Phone Calls

Buying a “pay as you go” cell phone or a cell phone with a contract is something that can be done in the nearby town of Penn Yan, less than a 10 minute drive away.

If you’re not interested in buying a cell phone, all Keuka College residence rooms are equipped with a phone jack. If you or your roommates have a landline phone available, you can buy international phone cards from the bookstore to call home.

Calling home may be confusing but to make this seem simpler visit:


The Keuka van takes students to the nearby town of Penn Yan for free each day. On the weekends, the van makes trips to Canandaigua, Rochester, East View Mall, or the Waterloo Outlet Mall. The shuttle service also goes to and from the Greater Rochester International Airport as well as the Geneva Bus Station for minimal cost.

Units of Measure

The United States does not use the metric system—it uses the United States Customary System.

Length is measured by the inch, foot, yard, and mile. Fluids are measured in pints, quarts, and gallons. The temperature is measured in degrees Fahrenheit, while pounds and ounces are used for weight.