International Student Services: American Academic System
Communicate with your professors! Make appointments to meet with your professors early in the semesters to ask questions. Professors have weekly office hours and are very happy to meet with students. This is a very important part of academic success at UP. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Participate in class. In many classes at UP, classroom participation is very important and part of your grade may even depend on it. This can be challenging for some international students. Many students come from educational systems where speaking in class is not valued and may have little experience in this area. International students may also be concerned about their English abilities. Prepare two or three questions or comments before class based on your reading or on previous class discussion. Working with other students and speaking with your professors will also help you feel more comfortable participating in class.
- Make sure you understand what the requirements are for academic work. It is very important that you understand what your professors expect from you. Read your syllabi carefully and if you have questions, ask your professors.
- Don’t overload your schedule. Select courses wisely and give yourself time to adjust to a new educational system.
- Ask classmates for help. Many students are happy to be study partners or to answer questions if you ask.
Have realistic expectations. Remember that it may take some time for you to perform to the best of your ability.