Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What Resources Should I Look for on Campus?


By: Justine D’Souza
Contributing Author

Selecting the best university requires significant research. While it is important to consider whether a given school has a strong reputation and affordable tuition, it is equally important to consider the campus resources offered by the school, as it can make a difference in both your academic success and future career.

When looking into schools, make sure the following resources are accessible to you:

Career Services
This resource can help you find internships, choose a major, learn about job applications, practice for interviews, and navigate career fairs. The career office at your school should offer one-on-one coaching sessions, group events, and print materials for you to take or borrow at any point during your program’s duration. 

Alumni Networks

Networking is crucial to remain competitive in any job market. Schools with strong alumni connections give students advantages in the job-seeking process because they provide an automatic network of people to help them advance professionally. You can use your school’s alumni network to find a job or learn more about a particular field.

Strong Department for Your Chosen Major

While a university may have a prestigious name, it should also have a strong department for your given program. Strong departments offer practical courses, career programming, research opportunities, experienced professors, and helpful advisors.

Academic Support Center

Supplemental assistance can help you reach optimal success. For this reason, it is important to ensure your school offers academic support centers as part of its free resources. Well-equipped academic support centers offer tutoring, technological materials, English learning initiatives, and extra resources for students with disabilities.

Financial Aid Office

Studying in the U.S. is expensive. Even if you have scholarships, an office with responsive personnel can help if you have questions or issues with your bills and payment plans. Employees of the financial aid office can also explain university policies and work-study options.

International Student Services (ISS)

Studying abroad is an exciting but potentially challenging experience. An office or center dedicated to international students typically advises on academic and legal issues. ISS also hosts cultural events, workshops, and new student orientation to build community among international students.

Public Safety Officers

Your school should foster a safe atmosphere. Public safety officers keep the campus secure, alert the community in case of emergency, respond to complaints, lead relevant training, and can accompany students home if they do not feel safe walking alone. If you get the chance to visit schools, see if they have blue light systems to dispatch the police with the touch of a button.

How have campus resources helped you during your education abroad? What other services have helped you?

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