Studying Abroad In The United States
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Student Life

5 Tips For Non-English Speaking International Students On Campus And 3 Tips For Colleges To Accommodate Us

It's not easy, but it's doable.


The reason I write this article is because I am an international student spending my second year in the U.S. For the incoming non-English speaking international students, I want to give you some tips.

1. Try to talk to other English speakers

Many international students were studying in non-English speaking regions before their undergraduate/postgraduate. Since English is their weakness, they incline to talk to other non-English speakers or even fellows from the same racial groups. Usually, the local students are not willing to see you not speaking English at school. And don't be shy when someone asks you for the directions.

2. Watch as many dramas as you can before coming

International students can always learn English and American culture from American dramas. And they also should get used to the movies without any subtitles. It is also a good way to learn the slang. Spoken English is expected to improve fast after watching a lot of American movies. But the reading or writing may not. So you should also read more books. From written English, you will soon know how to express natively and enhance your language intuition.

3. Be sure to increase your vocabulary and better your grammar

As international students are arriving in the U.S. and they are working to wholly accept American English and the local cultural environment, the best thing to integrate into the campus environment is to keep improving English. This is the most direct but unnecessary part when you try to narrow the gap between you and the locals.

4. Reduce your native tongue upon your arrival

Non-English speakers are often hard to communicate with, so they naturally speak their own language when they know they are in the U.S. where English is their second or other language. But even though the U.S. is a multicultural place, English is still officially or unofficially becoming the country's first language, as so in many other countries. Speaking English is always good to know many different people and seek help on your campus tour.

5. Try to call customer service to practice listening skills

Take myself as an example, at the beginning of my first year in the U.S., I always called the FedEx, Apple, Amazon, and Bank of America for returning the goods/making complaints/opening a bank account. It is difficult to talk to many Americans because everyone has some accent and it is always confusing for non-English speakers to grab the key points because of the accents. So it is also a good way to learn English.

6. Schools should have more cultural activities to encourage students to talk

International students are always afraid of talking and expressing their ideas even when they have a lot to say. Therefore, making cultural activities is helpful for them to meet different international students and find their friends. International students are usually not very proficient in speaking English, so the conversation is easier.

7. Schools should assign a mentor to students in need

It is more and more popular that many schools began to arrange new students with a mentor. The mentors are usually assigned based on cultural similarities. And the mentors' age is close the mentees, so it is more likely that the mentors can bring mentees to better adapt to the unfamiliar campus.

8. Schools should attach greater importance to international organizations

Organizing an international organization is always beneficial for students to keep speaking English, keep talking to other people, and keep learning more of the school, in addition to the orientation. Having some peer tutors that mainly focus on the international students can also assist them to do a better job in the academics field.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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