Surely one thing that you might worry about studying abroad is getting good grades and full credit for your courses taken abroad. My advice: don’t worry! Especially in the United States, universities offer a lot of support if you take advantage of it. For example, at my university, Northwest Missouri State University, there are some wonderful forms of support such as professor office hours, SI sessions, writing centers and so on. Here are my tips to reduce your anxieties:
Visit your professor’s office during their office hours to ask questions.
They always welcome you, answer your questions and provide the most reliable information for their courses. In fact, at my host university in the U.S., many students take advantage of office hours, while I had never done so in Japan. It has always brought me beneficial tips.
Attend SI (Supplemental Instruction) sessions.
Attending SI sessions are a great opportunity to learn and reinforce content taught in your classes. As one of the benefits of attending SI session, you can also get to know your classmates better outside of class and help each other study.
Use your university’s writing center to improve your writing.
For me, writing reports or essays is really challenging and I often have to write them while studying abroad in the U.S. The people at the writing center help me with my papers, and my writing is getting much better.
The most useful tool is your friends.
Sometimes you may be challenged by a language barrier, but your friends from your host country can help with anything. I often ask my friends for help and they are always kind and teach me not only things I didn’t understand in class, but also show me how to communicate with those who speak other languages through conversation.
There are a lot of different systems that help you learn at your host university that I highly recommend taking advantage of while studying abroad. They are there to help and can improve your experience overall. Thanks to these support systems and my friends, I am doing well so far!
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