Tips for Seeking Academic Resources and Help
Thursday | November 3, 2016 | by Kaitlin Ramby
The university experience in the U.S. consists of much more than attending daily 90-minute lectures. For international students looking to get the most out of their U.S. education, it’s important to take advantage of all the help and resources available, and there are many options students have when it comes to improving their academic performance.
To help you navigate the world of university resources, read the tips below so you can be more knowledgeable about where to find academic support:
If you are struggling with your coursework, there are a few things you can try to improve your work:
- Speak with professors: If you are not doing well in a course or if you want to get more in-depth information, try speaking in-person with your professor. Professors typically have designated office hours when students can come in for one-on-one time. This can allow you to get insights on how to improve in the course and speak openly about what you may be struggling with.
- Create a study group: Studying with a group of people can increase your retention of the material, expand your knowledge faster, and make you more motivated to study. Ask around in your course to see if students are interested in forming a study group and schedule times that work for everyone to meet and study course material and prepare for exams.
- Enlist the help of a tutor: If there is a specific subject in which you need tailored help, it may benefit you to get a tutor who can help you in one subject area and give tips on how to better your skills in that subject. You can find tutors through course teaching assistants, your university, or even online.
There are many resources available to you as well:
- International student services (ISS): Most colleges have ISS to help international students. This university resource is there specifically for international students, so don’t hesitate to seek help and advice here, especially when you first arrive in the U.S. ISS may even have informational and networking events for you to attend where you can meet other international students and get information on adjusting to student life in the U.S.
- Academic support/information centers: If you are in need of specific help but aren’t sure where to go, academic support and/or information centers at your university can offer assistance. Here you can find almost anything you need from campus information to tutoring services to academic events and even where to find school materials. It’s a resource center for resources! Take advantage of it when it’s offered by your university.
- Writing centers: Learning a second language isn’t easy, let alone having to write in that language at the university level. Most schools have writing centers where students can have their papers critiqued by English professionals. Students can learn new vocabulary, how to reduce bad writing habits, and improve their overall voice and style.
- Program-specific resources: The program for your specific major will most likely have its own unique resources available to its students. Check with professors and department chairs to discover what resources are available for free to you as a student in the program. You never know what you may uncover that could help you in a course or project.
Seeking academic help is all about taking initiative and knowing your weaknesses so you can improve upon them. You’re paying for your education, so you might as well take full advantage of all the free resources available to you!
Do you have further questions about seeking academic help and resources through your university? Leave us a comment below.