How to succeed academically during study abroad

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Tips and Strategies to Make Good Grades, Even in a Foreign Country

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Although studying at a foreign university can be intimidating, it is possible to succeed academically.

Studying abroad can be a great experience; students can live in a different country, experience a different culture, meet new people, and even learn a new language. Some students, however, notice that their grades drop while they are abroad.

Whether or not a student’s grades abroad count in their grade point average (GPA) at their home university, grades are important; students may need a certain minimum grade with or without essay writer help to get credit at their home university, and graduate schools will ask to see a transcript from a student’s time abroad. Follow these tips to ensure academic success in a foreign country.

Preparing to Study Abroad

Once the study abroad experience is paid for and planned, the participant must prepare themselves for the experience mentally and emotionally. Even the most prepared student may still experience some culture shock. This is normal; however, the attitude held towards the differences experienced will ease any discomfort quicker.

An attitude that will be useful to have is open to the new culture despite differences. Conversely, an attitude of the superiority of the traveler’s own culture and inferiority of the culture visited will lead to the individual’s experience ending up negative. Most people who study abroad have some realization of the fact that travel is not just a change of location, but a change of the way of life.

To truly get to know the culture, it is important to be sensitive to cultural differences. A traveler may inadvertently offend someone with a certain gesture or cultural practice. Most guidebooks include cultural practices with suggestions of where to eat and stay, so a guidebook would be a great investment for preparing for travel.

Additionally, there is the factor of language. Even English speakers who visit English-speaking nations may experience some difference in vocabulary or usage. A college student studying abroad needn’t be a fluent speaker of the language of the country being visited, but it would be a good idea to learn some key phrases and expressions of politeness.

Make Sure Assignments Are Clear

If a student doesn’t understand an assignment, he should politely ask his teacher, teaching assistant, or another student. Students may be given types of assignments they are not accustomed to at their home institution; they shouldn’t be intimidated and shouldn’t make assumptions.

And they should ask for help as early as possible, not the week or night before a big assignment is due. This means students need to start their work early and not leave it until the last minute.

Start Work Early; Don’t Leave It until the Last Minute

This is always a good strategy for keeping one’s grades high, but it’s especially important while one is abroad, since distractions will be higher than ever and assignments may be different than usual. So students prefer to ask someone to “write my essay” so they shouldn’t spend all day locked in their room with books, but they also shouldn’t forget that they are abroad primarily as students, not tourists.

Students can take a book along when they travel, or check out the local coffee shops with their homework. Or they can start a study group with people they have met.

Use the Study Abroad Program

If students go abroad through an intermediary program, they should use their representatives as a resource. They will know all about the educational system in the host country, and can even act as an intermediary if students have an academic issue.

Intermediary programs can also help students with other issues, like safety while abroad and emotional issues.

Make Sure to Get Dates Correct

If students study abroad in a foreign country that writes dates in a different order – Day, Month, Year, rather than Month, Day, Year – they should be careful when looking at due dates of papers and exam dates. If they aren’t completely sure about a date, they should double-check with a professor, classmate, or friend.

Understand the Grading Scale

Students shouldn’t panic if they get back a grade that’s wildly different than what they expected. Many countries use a different grading scale, so what looks like a failing grade could translate to an A.

Students should learn ahead of time what the grading scale is, to avoid moments of panic. Students should also find out how their grades will be converted back into an American grade, which may vary according to their home university’s requirements.

Studying in a foreign country may be intimidating, but careful preparation can lead to academic success. Taking several small steps to responsibly manage their schoolwork can make studying abroad a much less stressful and more rewarding experience for any student.

Learn How to Research in a Foreign Country

Students should learn where the library is, where to find someone to write my paper for me and how to find and check out books. Students should also make sure they know where to get reliable Internet access, as well as access to a printer and copier.

Students should consider buying books online if a reliable bookstore isn’t nearby; Amazon has websites for most countries.

Documenting the Experience Abroad

A final guideline for those studying abroad is the importance of recording the visit. Pictures, a travel journal or blog, souvenirs will help both those at home and the student to see and remember what was experienced during the study abroad and to encourage others to go on such an experience.

Many colleges offer programs with a study abroad component, but if the program doesn’t suit a student, it is more than possible to find the program that does. After deciding what program to attend and for how long, cultural practices and language factors should be considered to ease the transition into another way of living. Finally, to remember best, a participant should record the experience in any way possible.