Beginning your new life at university can be scary at first, add the fact that as international students you are moving to a whole new country it can be terrifying. However, if I can single out one thing that has helped me get through my first year at college is being open minded. Open minded in the sense that you have to be willing to be exposed to a variety of things; these vary from people and their ideas, ways of living, food and a lot more. This all comes from the fact that eveything that you will be experiencing will be new to you, it is a change from what you are accustomed to. Some people make the mistake to block themselves off and therefore become suppressed because of the overwhelming amount of things that are new and foreign. Be willing to talk to anyone, try to find out their story because more often than not you might find that you have a lot in common and end up making a friend. Explore campus and the Twin Cities, the only way you will feel at "home" is if you know and experience what's around you so don't be afraid to take time off academics every once in a while to go around campus (a favourite of mine is taking a walk by the riverbank near superblock). Embrace the american culture and try it out, you might end up liking some aspects of it, personally I had never been to an american football game before I came to the U but I ended up loving gamedays. I can go on and on about tiny things that were useful and meaningful to me but they all come from the single fact that I was willing to experience all of it, so my advice to you is be open to change because you will be getting a lot of it so you might as well embrace it.
Here are some pics that I think best define my freshman year: