In American Universities every student ( including international students) is assigned to an Academic advisor by the school. Let me share some of the tasks they help you with and the importance of talking to your academic advisor in this article.
What does an Academic Advisor help you with ?
Academic advisor is someone from the school/ department who helps you with a variety of tasks like below :
- Help students with course prerequisites, get them waived or suggest, if any required
- Work with student and develop an individual degree program by giving options of available courses and what can fit in to meet program requirements
- Discuss regarding degree program and any related courses information
- Help student with meeting admission requirements
- Advise students on selecting courses and academic planning, including internship options, etc.
- Help students connect with respective faculty for any questions related to program and course planning, prerequisites waivers, etc.
- Answer questions related to program, courses, faculty, issues, etc.
5 Reasons why you should Talk to Academic Advisors
- Most of the times, international students are given few pre-requisites in the admission letter that are required to be taken before you start taking the actual program. You may have taken similar courses in your college back home…it is critical that you talk to the advisors and explain them the coursework and get the prerequisites waived. if you do not get them waived, you will end up wasting time and LOT of MONEY !
- As an international students, you are very new to the education system in America. You need someone to help you with the system for your course planning that meet degree requirements. The education system works on basis of credit hours, it can be confusing at times…read this article : What are credit hours and Courses in US
- You may not be aware of many of the academic course options related to Thesis vs. Non-thesis options, internship credits, Co-op opportunities and credits, Independent study, etc. that can be counted towards your degree…it is important to talk to someone in the advising office to tell you the available options for getting your degree.
- Academic Advisors would have helped many international students design their own degree program and choose courses…their experience is invaluable for designing your own degree program
- Many Students are not sure about the graduation requirements, what course are offered in fall vs spring, what can someone do in summer, etc…Talking to Academic advisor will be very helpful for students plan their graduation and courses.
Apart from above, they can also help you with any questions related to policies, grades and other issues related to your degree and admission. It is critical that an international student talks to them as soon as they arrive in US.
Did you talk to your academic advisor ?
Any experiences to share ?
Image credit : http://sppblog.gatech.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/advising.jpg