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6 Cchallenges for International Students in College

  • Date Submitted: 03/05/2014 12:22 PM
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The first semester of college in the United States is an exciting time for international students, but there are some obstacles that naturally arise in a new country and academic environment.

Here are challenges international students may face, and tips to deal with each:

1. New assignments: In your college courses, you'll likely be graded in many ways: on tests, papers, and class participation. For students like Vuk Bojovic, who's studying at Augustana College in Illinois, doing research and citing sources in written assignments can be an especially tough challenge.

"When I first came here, I had a problem with research papers, as I have never wrote them in high school in Serbia," Bojovic wrote in an E-mail to U.S. News. "I was not familiar with the structure of a paper as well as academic resources and citations. It took me a whole term to work both on my own and with people in the Reading-Writing Center to get a good grade on a paper."

If you're struggling with writing papers, follow Bojovic's lead by stopping by your school's writing center. There, you may be able to find free tutoring and help with writing, research, and editing.

[Take advantage of these college resources.]

2. New professors: Many college professors in the United States want learning to be a collaborative experience, and encourage participation from students both in class and during their office hours.

For international students who come from academic environments with hands-off instructors, being able to approach faculty members is a cultural change, notes Karen Edwards, assistant dean and director of international student affairs at Grinnell College in Iowa.

"Consider faculty as your partners in the learning process, as opposed to your superiors," Edwards advises.

3. New subjects: Many colleges and universities require students to take a set of general education classes, regardless of their majors, to expose them to a wide variety of subjects. This can come...

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