Five tips for International Students

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Jamon Sin/PSU Vanguard

Portland State has made its mark upon collegiate-level international curriculum and diversity among the numerous educational facilities available along the West Coast. What makes our school so great is how resources are gladly given to students studying abroad in Portland and that everyone within the Park Blocks is part of this plan to help create an environment of learning, community outreach and social interaction.

The best plan for success in any college environment involves heavy planning, the willingness to reach out and the strength to follow through with one’s dedication to their own academic standard of achievement. In order to best plan for your next school year as an international student, we advise you to reach out to the many resources listed and to keep these listed mantras in mind.

1. Be in it to win it
What you see on television or movies is not reality when it comes to understanding the difficulty of trying to master a skill you are passionate about. There will always be somebody who is seemingly better than you, more well-prepared and emotionally mature. Despite how overwhelming this may seem, there are always ways to overcome this obstacle—by deciding to do the best job you can in the moment and to take advantage of the support freely given by the environment they are studying in.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
PSU offers many different facilities that help with a smooth transition for students transferring from abroad such as the Learning Center within the Millar Library, the Writing Center in Cramer Hall and the University Success nook located in Ondine 204. Free tutoring, mentorship and community support is a key advantage to all students, but especially international students who would like to get ahead and ensure that they are as well prepared as possible.

3. The library is your best friend!
Located within our PSU library there are many resources to help foster an environment for successful studying practices that will help enable international students to thrive. There is the student-run coffee shop located on the first floor, the computer labs stationed on the first two floors or the free access to textbooks for your specific courses at the information desk located on the left hand side of the main lobby.

If you’re more introverted, the top two floors of the library allow for a quiet environment in order to focus. So long as we can keep our Pokémon Go! Apps away, the library will always be a place of solitude and intellect which will allow for inspiration and guidance along the way.

4. Reach out to other international students
The Multicultural Center, located on the second floor of the Smith Memorial Student Union, offers a relaxed, furnished environment for all students looking to connect, focus or find a productive means for inspiring their educational prospects. What makes this environment so great is that opportunity is never far from reach. Even on the walls of the building, there are flyers that allow you to seek out other students who are working on projects, join clubs, or plan events. You may even stumble upon someone looking to hire somebody…like you!

5. Advising is key
Meeting up with your assigned advisor every term is fundamental to long term success in any institution, and especially as an international student looking to be successful! Whether you have questions about exploring goals, preparing for future interviews, or trying to understand the curriculum to best suit your degree focus, your advisor will help you. No matter what major you declare, it’s always best to schedule your term-to-term advising appointments as soon as the quarter begins to ensure that you will have an opportunity to discuss and to plan ahead!

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