Success Tips for International College Students

success tips for international college students
Success tips for international college students. Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst

If you are an international student, you are already successful. To even be admitted to a university here, you had to pass exams in a foreign language. Now you are ready to begin your journey studying your major in a foreign language. You’ll be writing, listening, and speaking in a foreign language for the next few years. If you live in a dormitory, the food will be different from back home. And if you have a roommate, you will likely be sharing space with someone from another culture. This is an adventure of a lifetime! To help you enjoy your time here even more, here are some success tips for international college students.

What is your overall goal for your education?

You probably value academic success. Identify how you achieved that success in your country. Is it the same strategy here?

Doing this will help you make the most of your education

It would be a good idea to have a mental overview of your purpose the next few years. What will you do with the degree when you graduate? What kind of connections would be helpful for you to build the next few years to advance your goal once you graduate? What would you like to learn from this new culture? How can your observation about this culture help you in your career?

If all these questions seem too much to ask now, don’t worry. Just enjoy your studies and friendship you make. Let those questions sit in the back burner. And when you come across an answer to them, you’ll know.

It’s never too early to start making connections

The article Study skills that help international students succeed goes into detail about several areas. One of them is reaching out to professors and classmates. Dedicated teachers are eager to see you succeed. They will be happy to help you. Study buddies can actually make your class work easier.

Seek out professors and classmates who share your interests

And if you already know what you want to do with your degree, look for opportunities to connect with professors and classmates who share your interests. Talk about the topics that fascinate you. Let them know your dreams and goals. You never know who knows the right person to get you in the door. Many college professors are part-time employees at the university, which means they may work in other fields in the day time. They may know of an internship for you that can lead to a job opportunity.

Classmates can be a source of connections too. Their families may know someone. Even if they don’t, you could be doing business with your classmates in the future. I know some international students who stay in touch with their classmates, and are now doing business with each other.

The unique opportunity of international college students

Being an international student can open doors for you, expand your world view, and allow you to make friends with many from around the world. University is a place to nurture you and learning and connecting. Use this time to enjoy the experience. And remember to close your textbooks from time to time and have fun with your new friends.

If you find this blog helpful, here is on on How to improve your English grammar.

Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking.    To schedule a session with her, please email

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