10 Tips for International Students to Succeed at a University in the United States
If you are an international student coming to a university in the United States, you might have approached college differently. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to prepare for class in the United States.
1 . Always check your school email so you don’t miss information from your teacher
Soon enough, your email will become an important part of your life. With your acceptance to a United States college comes the responsibility of checking your email daily. Professors will use email services to not only inform you about upcoming assignments but present information relevant to the course such as extensions and canceling class.
2 . Be prepared to talk in smaller classes
A lot of the responsibility that comes from being a college student involves making connections, ones that will last you a lifetime. As international students, it is important to venture out and meet new colleagues from all over the world. Class sizes may range from 500 students in an auditorium to 20 students in a small classroom. No matter how big the class is take advantage of the opportunity to exchange phone numbers and emails with classmates. Always keep in mind you might receive attendance points that are counted towards your final grade.
3 . Make sure to double check your grammar and spelling
Even if English was your first language, double checking your grammar and spelling in college is a significant step in building a finalized paper or project. Being conscious of your mistakes might even help you get a scholarship for international students in the United States through your excellent writing skills. Remember, practice makes perfect.
4 . If you are sick, make sure to notify your professor as soon as possible if you can’t make it to class
The relationship you build with your professors will benefit you throughout the course. After all, they are there to make your college experience less stressful. If you feel like you are getting sick, do not hesitate to notify your professor. Telling them ahead of time makes it possible to receive class notes or powerpoints before you meet again and have your absence excused.
5 . If you are confused about a lecture or lesson, show up to office hours
Every college student should be aware of their professor’s office hours, which is the time and place to ask more personal questions concerning lectures or your grade in the class. Teachers are eager to discuss any questions or concerns you have on a lecture or ways to improve your grade in the course.Throughout time, you might even build a secure connection with a professor who has similar cultural and ethical values as you and can rely on them for a future letter of recommendation.
6 . If you are assigned a group project, make sure you understand your part
As an international college student, you will more often than not have the opportunity to work with individuals who come from all over the world. When participating in a group project, it is important to understand that everyone has personal responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask a question! Let other members of your team know if you have any doubts concerning your responsibilities in the group
7 . Prepare for presentations ahead of time and make sure to familiarize yourself with what you will say
How embarrassing is it to get to a class and not know you had a presentation? Always make sure you write important dates down in your notebook or calendar. Timeliness is one of the most important factors to succeed as a college student in the United States. Presentations are very popular projects in the United States.
8 . Make sure to read your classes rubric so you understand grading
Your syllabus is designed to answer common questions your professor might anticipate you will have throughout the semester. Professors not only outline important days but make sure they break downgrading and class policies. College students often miss hidden opportunities to bump up their grade because they don’t read their class rubric. Keep in mind that grading is also different in the United States, so make sure you understand what you need to succeed and how much weight each assignment has on your overall grade.
9 . Learn your way around the library
Be prepared to spend endless nights in the library of your desired college in the United States. The library has many great things to help you succeed in college such as free wifi, plugs to charge, endless resources and most importantly a quiet environment with like minded individuals. You may also have the opportunity to reserve study rooms for a limited time frame and enjoy a quiet environment to study and complete class projects.
10 . Show up on time
Having a clear understanding of the material, using resources, and reaching out to your professors are great ways to stay on top of your school work in college. As stated before, timeliness is also an important skill to develop throughout college. You will need to submit assignments, catch the bus, and make it to class at a particular time. There is no easier way to fall behind in coursework than to arrive late to a lecture. Always remember to check your class rubric to determine if your professor deducts points for tardiness.
Want to make sure you’re completely ready for life in the United States? Follow US Ready on social media or visit our website to see how we can help you transition to life in the United States.
Magdianis Martinez is a University of Florida advertising alumni and a marketing specialist intern at US Ready. She was born in Cuba but spent most of her childhood growing up in Miami, Florida. From a young age she embraced her ethnicity and is prideful in being able to help other international students find their passions through comfort in the United States. Her favorite things about growing up in Miami was the food and strong representation of culture within the city.