Adjusting to a Different Education System
While participating in your study abroad program, you may be surprised by how much free time that you have outside of class or you may be unsure of the expectations that your new professors hold. Many educational systems outside of the United States focus more on a final essay or exam, giving the appearance that there is little to be completed throughout the semester. The expectation is that you will spend this time reading the suggested materials and researching the topics discussed in class. Here are some tips that may help you to have a successful academic experience abroad:
- Although it may not be specifically stated in the syllabus, attendance is important! You should to attend all classes.
- Read all required and suggested readings that your professor assigns.
- Start early! Do not wait until the end of the semester to begin working on your final project, or you may quickly become stressed . You'll want to enjoy your last few weeks and not be stressed.
- Introduce yourself to your professor at the beginning of the semester. Establishing this connection early will create an open line of communication, which will be especially helpful if you find yourself having difficulties in the course.
- Establish contact with students from your host country. These students will know what to expect in terms of coursework and may be able to offer advice throughout the semester. It is also a great way to make friends in your host country.