International students strength varies by school as I listed in article finding schools with less Internationals…irrespective of their strength, as a prospective international student…when you are applying to US schools, you may need some advice from current students…After you have applied, you may need some help with stuff like sorting out I20 delays, admission letters, scholarship letters, delays, etc…Before you travel to US, you might need some more advice on weather conditions, books, clothing, etc…after you arrive in US, you may need a ride from Airport to school and accommodation for first few weeks… For all these situations, you need someone, who were in similar boat as you were, to help you with access to resources and expertise…Let me share some of the ways to find and contact students.
There are few ways you can reach current international students, In this article I will just focus on contacting current student organizations that may be :
- Specific to country, ethnicity, international, religion, professional chapters, academic, etc.
Searching for the Student Organizations info :
Student organizations are the heart of student life in American universities. Read article: What are Student Orgs in US schools ? Mission of any student org is to help current and prospective students…Every school has plethora of student organizations that are formed based on various aspects like same country, ethnicity, religion, academic interest, professional org, etc. Usually most of the US schools have something called student life office, which has list of all the current student orgs. You can just browse the university student life pages to get the list or just search in Google with university name. I just Googled, “list of student orgs in harvard”, first link is Student Orgs list… pretty straight forward…Similarly, as I googled “list of student orgs in Stanford”, first link Stanford student orgs . If those organizations are decent, they would have a website link and with all the info…you can go to the website and get more info. You may also try directly searching for Organizations info in Google by searching for terms like “ Indian student organization Ohio state University”, you will get Ohio ISA…similarly searching for “Chinese student organization Stanford”, we get Chinese Student Org, for professional student org, you may search like “american marketing association university of houston”, you will get AMA U of H . The main lesson to take away is to search for info…
How to Use the info ? How to Approach current students ? Introduction ?
Well, you found the website or the student org info…you want to look for info like email addresses and phone numbers of current board members like President, Membership coordinator, or anyone on the exec board. Some schools websites have Address book of current students or it may have a discussion board or Forum…You can get few students info there as well…You got all the info, now your job is to contact them nicely and introduce yourself.
Try to keep the email short and sweet, not more than 5 to 7 sentences. Introduce yourself as prospective student and ask what you exactly need. May be you need info like “ How is the on campus job situation” or “How is scholarships situation”. Be precise…use proper English…Do NOT write stupid English like “hw r u, snd schlshp inf 2 qick..”. Show some professionalism…
Try to contact couple students/ board memebers…You might get reply right away in couple days or may take a week or you may not get one reply… If you do not get reply in 2 to 3 days, nothing wrong in following up asking if they got old email and would appreciate any help….You have to realize, no one is free, you cannot demand anyone…You have to ask politely and show some respect for their time. Most of the times current international students can imagine your situation and will try to help…sometimes, their schedules and work may not permit…do not keep any hard feelings for them after you arrive on campus, just because they did not reply to your email…take it easy and socialize with everyone, do not complain…
In next article, I will share some other ways to reach international students.
Did you contact anyone ? Any experiences to share in regard to contacting students ? Did you help anyone ?
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