As a foreigner, we are facing not only the language problem but also the culture shock which may cause many troubles. Do not be scared. Tell yourself, it is part of the purpose of aboard studying. Here, we have prepared some useful materials for you to understand the difference between two cultures:

  • Grocery Store
    • Walmart: As largest retail store, the performance of Walmart in Norfolk is not so well. There is no so many options for each item. Clerk is not so nice. Some store is not open 24 hours. However, it is still best choice for shopping.
      Address: 7530 TideWater Drive, Norfolk, VA; 1170 North Military Highway, Norfolk, VA
    • Foodlion: A great food store. Free membership by which you can buy steak with amazing price. It is best choice if you do not have car for shopping. You can easily go there by taking Bus 4. Only thing inconvenient is that they do not have free plastic bag. You may carry your stuff by paper box.
      Address: 2401 Colley Avenue, Norfolk, VA
    • Farm Fresh: Fresh food. It opens very early every day. You can get their ad. in you mail box. They offer great deal on specific stuff every week.
      Address: 730 West 21st Street, Norfolk, VA
    • Harris Teeter: Neat store. Their cake is great. It is also a good place to buy wine.
      Address: 1300 Colonial Avenue, Norfolk, VA
    • Dollar Tree: Good price. It is best place to get some decorating stuff when you move to a new appartment.
      Address: 21st Street, Norfolk, VA
    • Grand Mart: Korea store. It is like a trip around the world. You can find Chinese vegetable, Janpanese candy, Korea noodle, Vietnam sauce, Mexico dishes and American stuff. They have fresh fish and shrimp with reasonable price.
      Address: 649 Newtwon Road, Virginia Beach, VA
    • American Asian Food Market: Chinese store. You can get most of traditional Chinese sauces. Vegetable is fresh. They have Chinese fast food with great taste. Just a little bit far.
      Address: 315 N Great Neck Rd, Virginia Beach, VA

Deciding on getting a car is one of the biggest acquisitions for most Chinese students here at ODU. This page addresses some of the concerns and provides you with some general guidelines and resources:

  • Used Car
    1. Check the cars from craigslist, local news paper or our school selling board and write down the appropriate cars, Auto-Guide is a highly recommended magazine that gives very detailed information about almost all the common used cars.
    2. Call the seller to quote the car that you want to buy, get the information about it, such as price, year, mileage, color etc.
    3. Check the vehicle for its appropriate Kelly′s Blue Book value, usually, the selling price should not be above KBB value. Autotrader may provide more accurate prices than KBB. The prices listed on KBB are usually higher than the real values
    4. Make an appointment with the seller to test drive it if you think it is worth to go down to next step.
    5. Ask someone who is familiar with the vehicle to test drive the car. Make sure no warning lights are on, everything works properly (air conditioning, lights, radio, etc ). Check Tachometer (if applies) to see if engine rotation is at proper level at given speed. After the test drives the vehicle, go see the under the vehicle to make sure there is no oil leaks, transmission or other fluid leaks. Write down the VIN number if everything is all right.
    6. Check the carfax by VIN to make sure the title is clean and there is no accident with it. Someone on MITBBS can offer free checking for you. They are very nice and friendly. Just tell them your VIN and email address. Do not forget to say thanks.
    7. Negotiate the price with the seller, buy it and get the title from the seller. If you buy it from a dealership, ask if there are any warranties with the vehicle.
    8. Buy the insurance for your car. Recommend GEICO and PROGRESSIVE for their reasonable price. There are two types of insurance roughly, one is half insurance, most of the international students buy this plan, which only covers victim car not yours; another is full insurance which covers both your car and victim car (Note: for safety reason, you can switch your insurance to full insurance when you drive to travel and change it back after it)
    9. Register your car at DMV with your driver′s license and car insurance. There are three places around us that you can register your car: one is close but too many people usually, address: 850 Widgeon Road; City Hall, address: 810 Union Street; around the military highway, address: 5745 Poplar Hall Drive.

  • New Car
    1. Search a deal on local new paper or TV. There are plenty of deals around National Day or end of the year.
    2. Go to test drive the car.
    3. Negotiate the price with the dealer. It is easier to cut down the price if you pay cash. If you choose financial buy, you need to negotiate the APR too. If you are lucky, you can get 0% APR if you have a great credit record.
    4. The financial car only can buy full insurance. Recommend to buy full insurance even you have paid off.

Note that before you can drive, you must:

  • Obtain a valid Virginia driver’s license (or learner permit)
  • Have auto insurance.
  • Have vehicle registration and license plate
  • No.7: This is the best Chinese food around ODU, the broccoli with vegetable is my favorite - it has a ton of vegetables, not the small amount normal Chinese takeout places give you. Their prices are good too. They have a lunch deal that all the students nearby love! I highly recommend this Chinese restaurant.
    Address: 1073 West 48th Street, Norfolk, VA 23508-1967

    View Larger Map

  • Uptown: Largest Chinese buffet in this area
    Address: 1050 North Military Highway
  • The Guide for New Chinese Students

  • The US Safety Guide

  • Study Life in USA

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