College Advising Tips

From an International Student's Perspective

Upon college admission, it is important to understand every college in the United States has academic support structures to help you realize and achieve your dreams. The best part, of course, being that all this is free of charge. Academic advising is an important part of the learning process. It would be a waste to complete your college education without asking for advice on the hard academic decisions you need to make—decisions that will impact your professional career.

Below are the three Rs you need to keep in mind to make the most of your advising and college experience:

  1. Responsibility – Talk to your Advisor

You need to take full ownership of your life. No one will chase you down and make you visit an advisor; rather, it is your duty to seek advice on hard academic decisions. Schedule regular visits to see academic staff who can help you make good decisions in college. But before you march into an advisors office, always be prepared: compile a list of questions beforehand so you know exactly what to ask, and know the different areas of expertise of your various faculty and staff so you can decide whom to talk to and receive advice from the best resource possible. Follow up your session with the advisor by letting them know what you have done since your meeting; this is very important in helping build strong relationships with your advisors and not becoming just another face in the sea of students.

2. Relationships-Ask Questions

College is a good place to meet people from all over the world. As a result, college advisors have networks in all of these places with people in all sorts of business areas. Foster open communication with your advisors so that they can connect you with professionals in your area of interest. Academic advising is communication: it never goes one way and it’s in your best interests to always build long-lasting connections.

3. Resources-Find out all you need to know

Each and every college has various support structures—such as academic advisors—who are there to help you learn policies, procedures, and requirements. All this information is normally given to you on the first day of school. While this information is very essential, it can be overwhelming to comprehend when received all at once. Take advantage of the resources available to you. Make efficient and effective use of academic tools at your disposal; after all, you pay for it!

Visiting advisors can put you on the right path to success. Once they help you figure out where the journey will take you, you can map it out. The road to a destination always has more than one possible route. Planning the journey before you begin can help you avoid unexpected roadblocks on your trip to graduation.

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