It’s not only a language problem
If you are an international student from a non-English speaking country, I bet you still remember the first three months when you just arrived in the US. I had a really hard time when I realize people do not talk as how VOA talks, the menus do not look like what I’m familiar with, the movies do not have subtitles, etc. I even don’t know how to describe the beauty products I want when I went to shopping.
Problems occur not only in daily life, but occur, or even worse, in your academic performances. I used to spend three times of the time native students spend on a project but still got a C. I used to stay up all night trying to finish a 20 pages paper but still stuck in the research stage. However, I survived from that miserable time. As somebody who finally caught up a little bit, I’m going to give international students three tips.
No life, no good grades.
It is true that for students from non-English speaking countries, language is their biggest problem. However, improving English skill is a long-term plan that your academic demands cannot wait that long. It is not necessary to work TOO hard which messes up your life. No life, no good grades.
Find out a way to manage your life well. When adjusting your old lifestyle to the new US style, find the restaurants that fit your taste and stores you like to shop. Only when you feel comfortable living in the new country, can you 100% devote yourself when you are studying.
Find efficient ways.
Spending more time studying is inevitable for international students, but there are ways to improve efficiency. Just try study guides, study groups or scholar seminars, there may be a way that suits you best and makes you work pretty efficient.
Do not be shy.
Being shy hinders your improvement most. Whenever you have a problem, just go talk to the professor and TA. Even though Google is always our best friend, the best problem-solving way is to communicate to the professor and TA face to face.
Also, don’t be shy in front of your classmates. Yes, right, you don’t know the star they’re talking about, you don’t know the song they all sing together, and you don’t know what happened when they were all 15 years old. However, they won’t refuse to tell you these if you go and talk to them. It is the same to your academic problems. Most of your classmates would not mind telling you what they know and help you out.