1. USE ALL AVAILABLE LEARNING TOOLS AND STRATEGIES
Comprehending lectures can be a significant challenge for international students. Both the difficulty of the lecture topic and the accent of the lecturer can confuse students, and the quality of lecture support can vary between lecturers. To counter this, international students should always do the relevant reading before the lecture, so they are familiar with the topic. Equally, recording the lecture can help, particularly if the lecturer doesn’t provide any supporting video extracts via the university net. Also, if you are trying to understand a particular model or theory, try searching on google videos or youtube – you may find a simple explanation there.
2. STUDY WITH OTHERS
If your class is given an academic article to read, check your understanding of it with a classmate. Writing summaries of reading tasks and comparing these with a classmate’s summary can be very helpful. In a similar way, checking understanding of lectures with a friend is a good idea. See if you agree on what the most important points were in a lecture. However, don’t write essays or reports with other students, as this is a form of plagiarism.
3. USE A-LEVEL STUDY RESOURCES
Most British students study three or four subjects at A-level from the ages 16-18. This means they have a specialized background in their degree subject at university. In your country you may have studied 8 or more subjects between the ages of 16-18, which means you will need to work much harder in year 1 than most native students: this is often very true for accounting and economics students. Equally, if you are studying for an MA in a different subject than your undergraduate degree, A-level resources are a useful way to learn some of the basic ideas.
4. BE CONFIDENT IN REQUESTING ACADEMIC SUPPORT
Remember the university wants you to pass with high grades, and that international students are an important source of finance for universities. So if you want extra academic support, you should ask.
5. SEEK LANGUAGE SUPPORT
Many universities provide academic support and language support from different departments. The school or department which teaches your degree subject should offer you academic support, but you may need to go and find the department which offers language support.
6. MAKE A PLAN TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Skype and other video call technology makes international calls very easy. If you call your family for three or four hours every night, then your sleeping will be affected and your studies will suffer.
7. JOIN CLUBS AND SOCIETIES
This is a great way of improving your English. However, for this reason, it’s important that there is a mix of nationalities in any club you join.
8. WATCH, READ OR LISTEN TO THE NEWS
British and European politics and business may well be relevant to your course, and some of the module assessment may require knowledge of contemporary political trends. Also, trying to understand the news is good for your English.