(The Free Press Journal publishes articles by study abroad consultants, Consulates, foreign universities, international students, and much more every Saturday to give its readers a glimpse of the world of overseas education.)
The United States is the most popular destination for Indian students to study abroad, and nearly 200,000 Indian students are currently studying at U.S. academic institutions. One reason for this popularity is the student resources that U.S. universities provide, resources that are crucial for a fulfilling educational experience and a positive outcome.
Diversity is a defining characteristic of the U.S. educational experience, and universities are sensitive to the fact that students come from multiple countries and require assistance to adapt. As a result, U.S. universities offer resources for student well-being to provide an enriching experience on a U.S. campus. This article will discuss some of the resources that are available to international students.
International Student Offices
The international student office should be the first point of contact for international students, both for immigration services and documentation, but also to meet with staff who can aid students with their knowledge and expertise about campus life. Students should stay in touch with the international student office throughout their time on campus to maintain their student status and to make sure their documentation is up to date.
Manmohan Thorat |
Academic Center and Writing Services
Universities in the United States also have academic centers that support students in areas where they may require additional assistance. While professors and teaching assistants conduct office hours, students can visit the academic center to request tutors, study spaces, or even to attend sessions on how to manage your studies. Students at U.S. universities are expected to have some proficiency in English, and writing skills are critical to your success. For this reason, universities offer writing services available to all students regardless of their level of study. Writing assistance may be of particular value to graduate students who are expected to have competency in academic writing and to know how to avoid plagiarism.
: Be sure to ask the academic center about the four learning modalities and find out your learning modality. This will help you understand your learning type and adapt accordingly.
Safety and Security on a U.S. Campus
Universities in the United States take the safety and security of their students seriously, and in addition to measures that provide for the general safety of students, universities go the extra mile to ensure the safety of international students. They often have their own police departments, and campus police officers are trained to be sensitive to international students. U.S. universities also have provisions for students who request a security escort if working late at the campus library or laboratory. All students can utilize campus-wide alert facilities which notify students via SMS alert of safety-related incidents such as crimes or natural disasters.
Medical Center and Student Counselling Center
Most universities in the United States have basic medical facilities on campus with a medical professional on call. Students are required to have medical insurance which they can use to visit the campus medical center for all their medical needs. Besides provisions for physical health, universities also have excellent student counselling centers available to students for all mental health concerns. It is important for international students to know that it is okay to ask for assistance if the stresses of academic or personal life are affecting their quality of life.
U.S. campuses are dynamic environments with thousands of academic and social clubs where students can pursue their interests and meet like-minded people. Some examples of student clubs are the Indian Student Association (ISA), the Society of Women Engineers, and the Gaming Club. Exploring student clubs is a great way to enrich your overall experience on a U.S. campus.
Libraries are more than places to check out books on a U.S. campus. Universities have large libraries that can be used to conduct events, organize group study sessions, organize tutoring services, provide study spaces, and more. They serve as a meeting place for students and are often equipped with cafeterias and access to computers which can be used for your coursework. Campus libraries are members of broader library networks, and books unavailable at one library can be sourced from another.
With over 4,500 accredited universities in the United States, students can choose universities based on their specific needs. What all U.S. universities have in common is the provision of student resources that help students have a successful experience.
For more information about studying in the United States, please visit the EducationUSA website (), and for individual questions or direct counseling with an EducationUSA adviser, please write to USEducationQueries@state.gov
The author is an EducationUSA coordinator at the United States - India Educational Foundation (USIEF) Mumbai.
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