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How to study at UAlbany
How is it going everyone? This blog is about my academic experiences at UAlbany.
First of all, I want you to know that no matter why and when you choose to go to UAlbany, you should always remember that education is supposed to be the first priority. College is not only for studying, but studying is the biggest part.
Generally speaking, the education culture is very different between China and the USA. If you are from another country, you may have the same experience as me. Students can have more freedom and rights on campus. You may ask your questions in class whenever you come up with a new idea or if you are confused. At UAlbany, if you are an exchange student, you may use the first two weeks to try all of the courses that interest you and make your decision freely. I looked up the class schedules on MyUAlbany (UAlbany Student Portal) and researched as many courses as I could during the first two weeks and then finally chose three accounting courses and one community service course.
The first and most difficult challenge for me was the language problem. I still remembered the first day of class, which probably was the worst day of this semester. I found that I could not understand the professor’s speaking most of the time. Everyone else around me was understanding what was going on. I had no idea what was happening when the whole room suddenly burst into laughter at one of the professor’s jokes. Can you imagine how bad it might feel if you were in another world but actually sitting in the same classroom with everyone else?
Apparently, I needed to do more work after class!
Make best use of your syllabus. Almost every professor will post their course syllabus and other resources on Blackboard. Blackboard is an online studying platform used by UAlbany. Because of this online system, I could find out the content of the upcoming lecture. I would preview the lectures and look up words in the dictionary to make sure I know what the professor would talk about before every class. Even if you still do not understand some points, you can be more confident to raise your hands and ask the professor your questions in class. After class, I definitely needed to go over all the material again and make my own notes! One thing I recommend doing is to check your Blackboard constantly since your instructor might post the newest information there and most of the homework or group assignments have different due dates.
Speaking of homework, one thing I would recommend is doing your homework as early as you can. Never leave it until the last day. You can never predict what will happen before the due date.
Another recommendation is to form a study group if you are not a self-disciplined person. There is collaborative area for discussion and also group study rooms for private space.
If you still have problems about studying the course, do not forget the professor’s office hours! Most of the professors here are very nice and helpful. You can always reach out to them by email and make an appointment. Here, I must mention one of the best professors I have ever met. Professor Mark Hughes gave nearly all his time to teaching and supporting students. He helped me a lot by talking with me and encouraging me to talk with other people. If it were not him, I could not have taken the first step to talk to people here and have so many amazing stories. Before I met him, I just could believe that there could be such a kind person in the world, who is always willing to help with everyone; who will greet and chat with everyone he meets.
The other night, when I was saying goodbye to Jill, one of my candidate classmates in BAP (See previous blog post). We hugged with each other and cried for the farewell. She told me that she loved my personality and that my personality has changed hers. I told her that this was because professor Hughes has changed mine first.
By studying and learning new things every day, I gradually felt that language was no longer a big problem for me. At the end of my semester study, I earned a 3.77 GPA. I am sure if you put your heart into it, any difference between your country and wherever you choose to study should not be a problem. You can do better than you might think.
All right, that is for the study part of UAlbany Please feel free to leave comments below and don’t forget to check out my next and last post!
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Academic Support Center or the Center for International Education and Global Strategy. These are their stories – their voices.
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