“Your talent is a seed; cultivate it, and in no time, you will harvest successMatshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean philosopher

No more traditional African dishes! No more street food! You’re now in an unfamiliar culture. You can bet their meals are way different than what you were used to eating back at home. But, please don’t be afraid. Kevin is here to help prepare you a meal plan for your study abroad experience in the USA. 

You can’t say you will be eating meals from McDonald’s or other fast-food joints – It’s quite expensive, and you will feel hungry all the time. Supermarkets are the best places to buy a quick snack or candy on your way to class. But a grocery store serves you best, as you can find all the ingredients required to prepare your first American dishes and try some new recipes. 

I experienced all this when I moved abroad to study for my master’s degree in Texas. I was studying in a state that had familiarized itself with farming. Therefore, I had the privilege of preparing meals similar to as if I was back in my home country. I did not stay with a host family, only on-campus – so I did not have the opportunity to try so much home-made food. 

That being said, I have prepared a list of food or meal plans you must try while studying abroad in the USA. 

Breakfast Meal Plan

I tried several breakfast recipes or mixtures. I was happy I could drink a cup of milk every morning if I wanted to. I only need to refill by getting it at the nearby supermarket and store it in the refrigerator. 

Some of the breakfast options that I tried included:

  • Cold cereal and milk: it became my usual breakfast meal, as is typical with American students. I got the cold cereal from the supermarket. I usually served it in a bowl and added some milk.
  • Porridge (oatmeal) served with pears and honey -It was a warm breakfast, especially during the winter period.
  • Pancakes/waffles with maple syrup: We could prepare this with my friends, but sometimes I would go to the campus dining hall to have a bite.
  • Toast: It became a thing for me where I said goodbye to the normal bread. I would use the toaster to make a slice of bread browned and crisp. Then, add jam or peanut butter topping. Great at any time of day!

Lunch Meal Plan

In between my first morning classes in the United States, I was always hungry. I could have eaten a simple meal for brunch, but I preferred waiting for lunchtime. 

Before I started cooking my meals at my residence, here is what I ate for lunch.

  • Burgers/sliders – You will only feel like you’re in the US once you have eaten a burger – the most famous sandwich for Americans. Add ketchup or mustard to soften it. Sliders are small burgers, and you can eat as many as you want.
  • Buffalo Wings -These are chicken wings covered with a delicious buffalo sauce. Get the spicy one to make the meal warm.
  • Macaroni and Cheese – This is macaroni pasta covered in cheese and then baked. You can make it more delicacy by mixing it with vegetables or meat. Not so Italian – but very American!

Dinner Meal Plan

You’re exhausted and just got back in your apartment. It’s late, and you don’t feel like cooking the normal meals. Try out some of these quick meal plans for dinner.

  • Instant noodles – One of the easiest meals to prepare. You only need to boil water in a saucepan and add the noodles. Give it a few minutes and add the flavor packet. You can serve this with a boiled egg or even add some chili sauce.
  • Pizza- This is common even in most American movies we watch back in our home country. We have so many Pizza delivery outlets, and they are just a call away. It’s the most common food for international students.
  • Fries and fried chicken – You can order from a fast-food joint like McDonald’s at the drive-by or walking into the restaurant.
  • Chicken noodle soup- It’s a soup made with chicken pieces, chicken broth, and some chopped vegetables. I had to learn to prepare the soup during the cold days. It helped soothe my runny nose from the cold weather!


This is an area where you will find many, many, many options. Ice cream is very popular in the USA; and no study abroad program is complete without trying some of Ben & Jerry’s weird and wonderful flavours. 

Of course, Apple pie is one of the most famous american foods in the world, Blueberry pie also – and I recommend you try some. Cheesecake is another very popular dessert with Americans – you have to make your own mind up about that one though!

You can’t exhaust the list of American food and cuisine, there really is so much to choose from. You will have to work through some to find your favorites. For me, I find most American foods are too processed, and can often be greasy – especially from fast-food restaurants. 

I recommend that you can ensure a great user experience by learning to cook your favourite dishes from your own country. In the grocery stores, you can find lots of international ingredients.  Once in a while, eat at restaurants to try out different foods from all around the world.

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