Three Effective Tips for International Students

Tips for international students having trouble adjusting to their new environments


Sok Kong

Student Ponsawan Janji receiving tutoring from Writing Consultant Lora Bennett

Sok Kong, Staff Writer

Moving out of your comfort zone by deciding to pursue an education while living abroad alone is not easy for many international students. Individuals encounter many new experiences, both positive and negative. Some of those experiences will play a significant role in their lives and have the chance to greatly improve their future. Students may also run into situations where they are surrounded by loss, stress and mental desperation. These conditions often occur within the first academic period of an overseas student. If you are an international student and you are new to SCC, here are three things that you should know in order to overcome isolation in your educational journey and make your study abroad successful.

Keep in Touch with Your Adviser

Counseling is important, but international students often ignore it. The International
Academic Advising office does not only advise on academic transfer plans or uncertainty about your academic future. Advisers can also counsel or offer recommendations on a variety of useful things for international students such as housing, financial support, campus jobs, student activities or clubs and dealing with stress. Students can easily connect with an adviser by either scheduling an appointment or just showing up to Room 9302 for drop-in advising.

Jalen Kam, an SCC student from Hong Kong majoring in business/marketing said, “Honestly, I [didn’t] realize that advising [was] that important. I plan to meet [advisers] as much as I can for the next quarter because I can have a clearer version of my academic future.” International students are encouraged to check in with their adviser by communicating about their living circumstances, their feelings toward classes, concerns about their future careers and so forth.

Connect with Your Professor/Instructor

Students come from diverse cultures and some have different ideas of the student/teacher relationship. In some countries, students are not supported by or allowed to talk to their teachers. By contrast, when studying in the U.S., students are encouraged to talk to their professors about topics that can be related to the lessons, class or outside of the class. Additionally, while students get information or explanations, they may simultaneously receive emotional support. Good communication with the professor helps with your GPA, too!

Get Support from the Student Learning Center

If, for some reason, students still require more help or explanation related to their academic work, they are welcome to visit the Student Learning Center, located in SCC’s library. Students can receive tutoring at the center or use eTutoring, an online platform. Tutoring can cover many subjects, broad or specific. They offer tutoring for mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, English writing and more.

Stela Nuranty, an Indonesian student worker at the Student Learning Center, shared with us that, “Students initially walk-in looking concerned, stressed and desperate. [After] they received our tutoring service, students showed more enthusiasm and delight that their problems were being solved.” Nuranty also estimated that around the average of 20 students per day at the math learning center, and 10 students per day receiving a tutoring service at the writing studio. Every student is encouraged and welcomed by the Student Learning Center, not just international students. Ponsawan Janji, who is a domestic student studying at SCC, shared her experiences after receiving a tutoring service at the writing studio, “ I will come back, for sure, because the tutor was helping me with correcting my grammar and organizing my ideas. I feel like my essay is getting better, and I am also comfortable and confident to hand in my writing to my instructor.” Students who receive tutoring services are remarkably successful in their academic classes and stay on track to graduate.

Spending time out of your country is hard, but SCC international students have many resources to help them succeed and people that are happy to provide them.