Adjusting to an American university can be difficult for some international students. Depending on what the education system is like in your home country, you may be in for quite a culture shock.
Here are some basic tips for succeeding at Illinois State:
- Speak up in class. American professors welcome student participation in the classroom. If the professor asks a question, feel free to raise your hand if you know the answer.
- Don't worry if English is your second language. Professors and students are sensitive to other ability levels. If you feel you need to improve your English skills before starting a degree program, you may want to consider our English Language Institute which offers an Intensive English Program.
- Ask questions if you don't understand something. Professors are used to students asking for clarification during lectures. Also, all teachers offer "office hours," a time outside regular class meetings to get personal assistance.
- Meet new people and get involved on campus. Your residence hall is often a good place to make new friends. Also, the Office of International Studies and Programs hosts a variety of events and refers students to organizations and services right for them. The friendly staff in the office has a lot of experience assisting international students.
- Keep in touch with your home country. Read newspapers and magazines from home online. Call home regularly. Many students use Skype. Decorate your room with photographs or personal belongings. Visit restaurants that serve food similar to your native country.
- Recognize your feelings and/or difficulty adjusting. It's normal to experience some anxiety and even anger during the adjustment process. Try not to let feelings of culture shock impact your studies. We have staff members on campus to ease your transition. Contact Student Counseling Services if you wish to discuss your feelings.
- Ask for help. You are certainly not alone if you need additional assistance to succeed in your classes. The Julia N. Visor Academic Center offers study skills workshops, writing and math assistance, and other tutoring free of charge to all Illinois State students. You may also want to talk with your academic advisor about your course of study.