By: Doina Beljic, Franklin Mathematics Instructor
I enjoy working with international students here at FVHSI. The biggest challenge for our students is juggling both their regular and online classes at the same time in order to graduate. This is why I developed a set of guidelines to ensure international students’ success in our programs. I am looking forward to completing this list over several articles in the newsletter, and letting the students know that they have a strong support system when working in our programs.
Here are a couple of tips that I’ve developed to help international students succeed:
- Students preparing to study abroad should be aware that they need to work on their academic English language, which has specific terms for specific subjects. For example, while math is a universal language, the math vocabulary is different in every language. A different vocabulary can be a serious obstacle to obtaining good grades in this subject. I use a variety of websites that have descriptions of the math terms that are in our courses to help the students better understand what is needed of them. An example of a good resource would be: http://www.mathwords.com/a_to_z.htm.
- Franklin offers two important courses that represent the cornerstone of education for international students: Literacy and Comprehension and Strategies for Academic Success. I always recommend my students start with these two courses and then continue with English. These courses help international students to better understand the academic materials, provide them with a solid base of understanding of what is needed from them, and offer valuable strategies that will ensure their academic success in later classes. After the successful completion of these two courses, the students will be able to apply critical thinking skills, use sophisticated reading techniques, take valuable notes, get better results during tests, plan and organize their work, and, finally, be equipped for a smooth learning experience.
I will continue this blog over the next few months. If you are reading this and you are an international student, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what your struggles are here in the U.S. academic system. I would be more than happy to assess the issues and help find new ways to make studying in the United States an exciting and valuable experience.