WES Advisor Blog

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Improving the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Student Experience

Tuesday December 6, 2016 | by Kaitlin Ramby

Middle Eastern and North African students taking exams

In a recent report by World Education Services (WES), Improving the International Student Experience, international students were surveyed on satisfaction with their education in the U.S. The report assessed international students from varying regions, including: ChinaIndiaEuropeLatin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Sub-Saharan Africa.

This post focuses on the educational experience in the U.S. for students from the MENA region. Please view the infographic below, and read recommendations on how you can improve your educational experience in the U.S.

Middle East and North African student statistics

As shown in the information above, 26 percent of students from the MENA region cited trouble meeting academic standards (which was the highest out of all the regions surveyed), with 38 percent citing a lack of English proficiency (the second highest among all regions).

When it comes to academics in the U.S., a proficient English level and good grades go hand in hand. So, here are some tips for improving your English level to achieve your academic goals.

Improving Your English

While learning another language is no easy task, being able to understand and communicate in that language in an academic setting is even more challenging. Fortunately, there are many ways that students can improve their English level for school.

Here are three ways you can improve your English:

  • Contact your school to find out if there are free programs, English centers, and other resources you can take advantage of to improve your English.
  • Speak with your professor during office hours for advice.
  • Find out if there is a writing center at your university to get your papers critiqued so you can learn what to improve on.

Although it does require initiative and effort, seeking extra help for English will make your academic efforts worth it in the end.

Meeting Academic Standards

Adjusting to the academic environment in the U.S. is often a challenge for international students. The key to meeting academic standards (and even exceeding them) is to plan and prepare beforehand. Research the differences you may need to know before attending school and reach out to the International Student Services (ISS) at your university to learn about the grading system and requirements.

When you begin school, be sure to read carefully through any course syllabi your professor provides, so you understand the expectations of the course right away. Again, meeting with your professor one-on-one in the U.S. is not only encouraged, but can help you in your courses too.

Lastly, try and set academic goals for yourself. Goals can give you something to work toward, and they can also motivate you to perform better in school. Make sure the goals you set are specific enough for you to create a schedule and manage your time effectively.

Are you a current or prospective student from the MENA region and want to share your experience as an international student in the U.S.? Apply to be part of our Student Ambassador Program!

Were these tips helpful in improving your educational experience in the U.S.? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Kaitlin Ramby

Kaitlin Ramby is the Digital Content Producer for World Education Services.