January marked the beginning of a new semester or even the first semester for many international students. When we jump into a whole new environment, teaching methods, and higher education level classes, we are always afraid of not performing But when you are an international student, one of the most fearful things is the constant thought that you will not be able to get good grades because of the language barrier. I remember finding myself overthinking and feeling too stressed about this potential problem some months prior to my arrival at university. Although, I did not know that I would have be offered countless help, in order to keep up with my work.
“Keep in touch with a professor and always communicate with them”
First and foremost, many schools’ advice is to keep in touch with a professor and always communicate with them. Professors always have office hours, which means you are always able to set an appointment with them in order to ask all the questions you were too afraid to ask during class time. You should take advantage of this! Professors want to know you better and help you out as much as they can, but they cannot do so if you do not put some effort into forming the necessary relationships. So, get out of your comfort zone, set up an appointment and get all the help you need directly from the best source. When you finish your class, ideally, your professor should remember you by name
“Universities offer private tutoring or group tutoring to students.”
Usually universities offer private tutoring or group tutoring to students. My University, as a matter of fact, offers free tutoring and usually, we set up appointments online through the website of the school. Many students who received an A in a course become tutors for specific subjects. The tutors review material so that you can be ready for your exams. Sometimes they will even help you out with your homework and help revise your essays
Professors always have office hours, which means you are always able to set an appointment with them in order to ask all the questions you were too afraid to ask during class time
“Make some friends who are native speakers”
If you are a shy person and you think that it will be something extremely out of your comfort zone, keep in mind that you have more sources for help. You will definitely make some friends who are native speakers of the new country’s language; do not be afraid and just ask them to help you out. Also, some of your friends may be English major friend, just ask them to revise your papers to perfect them and correct all of the grammar. Chances are they will say yes, and you could even go on a coffee study date, in your campus cafe.
I am sure that there are many other resources, and depending on the school you could even find more academic help than you thought. Some personal advice from me would be to keep pushing yourself. Do not allow yourself to fall behind in your classes. Always read the material and do your homework regularly. I do not know about your country, but I know that in Italy, I always thought homework was less important than exams since we would not be graded on it. But in the United States, the tables are turned. Homework counts as a consistent part of your grade, and usually the assignments are doable. So, do your homework, go to class, and use the resources given to you by your university. You will definitely rock your semester, and receive As in all the courses you are taking!