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University Life Café


Six students standing on a large map of the world painted on the floor. Three men and three women.

International Students: Academics (Part 3)

By KSU Counseling Services Staff

Many international students go abroad for the academic work. Many will find opportunities to study late into the night. Many will also find solid informational resources through the libraries and digital repositories. And many may even find on-campus work opportunities that may / may not align with their academic and career ambitions.

The Academic Work

Learning how a foreign academic system works involves a fair amount of challenges. It takes time to understand how systems differ. This is where groups of students from the same regions or even the same country may be helpful—in helping new students acclimate. These networks of relationships offer opportunities for shared insights. Many international students have engaging social events with their fellow learners from different countries.

It is no easy thing to learn at the university level in a foreign language. In classes, professors will expect students to participate, to ask and answer questions, and to do presentations.

There is the support of tutors on campus. Professors may also offer tips and support for international students to better learn the materials.

Some international students find the US system a lot less rigorous than the equivalent courses in their home countries. No matter what students find, the differences will require some adaptation.

In general, it's advisable to meet deadlines. If deadlines may be missed, some instructors may allow deadline extensions. Most grading structures do not encourage incompletes though, and there may be grade penalties for unfinished or late work. Students do need to understand the feedback they get from their instructors and respond to those ideas to improve their work

Most schools require declaring a major (a degree area of study) at some point during the study process.

Professional Advisement

Campuses offer academic and professional advisement. They also offer counseling services. Most international students work through the international student programs office in order to access the various campus resources. 

© All staff articles are used by permission of the respective author(s). Copyright belongs to the University Life Café. No part of this may be used without authorization.

International Students: Academics (Part 3) (pdf)