International freshmen, looking forward to your upcoming college life? This summer, many of you are leaving your hometown, to live and study all by yourself in a different country. As the journey begins, have you and your family felt a little concerned about the challenges ahead? To help international students get ready for this new chapter, let’s learn about how to get help when you study abroad.
There are plenty of resources available to students on campus.
If you have any questions and concerns mentioned below, these are the people that you should talk to.
- Academic advisors
To assist you with your academic development, they offer advice for curricular planning, setting professional goals, and selecting interesting courses, which often comes with a delightful encouragement. They can also answer some general questions to help you navigate in this new environment.
- International student advisor
As you might have noticed, there is tremendous amount of paperwork and procedures for international students to check-in, transfer credits, and update visa and employment status. Failure to provide certain documents on time can get you in trouble. So first, get in touch with the international service office or advisor as soon as you arrive at your university. And always stay updated with policy changes for international students.
- Resident Assistant (RA)
Most freshmen will move into residence halls on campus, where they will have an RA who makes sure that the building is free of any violations of law and student conduct. If you have issues about your living space or roommates, talk about it with your RA.
- Medical and Mental Health Center
Adapting to a new environment and dealing with pressure can be challenging, both physically and mentally. The good news is, every school has medical and mental health services. Students can make an appointment with a doctor if they need to. In most cases, universities provide several free mental consultations. Additionally, F-1 students may check the list of providers covered by your mandatory health insurance. So don’t hesitate to ask a doctor for help, it really doesn’t cost you much.
In addition to on-campus resources, you can always seek help from other credible institutions.
- Students advocacy organizations
You can find a variety of student-led advocacy groups in universities. Some commonly seen organizations fight against discrimination, violence, and sexual assault etc. If you are suffering from any type of injustice at school, let them hear your voice. Many organizations can provide you with information and advice, so you don’t fight alone.
- Cultural and ethnic associations
For many international students, joining a group of peers from their origin with same cultural background would be a good start to college life. In those associations, you can find people who have struggled in similar situations and problems as you do – perhaps culture shock, language barrier, and feeling homesick on a foreign land. When you are anxious and lonely, I’m sure you will get a lot of support from this group.
Lastly, when you are involved in any legal matter on or off campus, the best solution is to hire a lawyer.
At DC Student Defense, you will find professional student defense attorneys who can handle your disciplinary and criminal charges. Students and their parents trust us because our attorneys are very experienced with campus and court justice procedures. We help college students across the nation in various student misconduct cases. The violations include but are not limited to alcohol and drug offenses, plagiarism and cheating, assault, Title IX and sexual assaults, and domestic violence.
Handling these charges and sanctions properly is especially crucial for international students, because the outcome will very likely affect their visa status, in addition to academic transcripts and career development. As soon as you receive a warning or notice from your university, or you face serious sanctions like suspension or expulsion, contact us immediately. Our first phone consultation is free.
We hope every international student will have a freshman year full of happiness and success. Whatever you need, attorneys at DC Student Defense will always be here to help.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.