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University of Missouri

New College, New Country

A new class helps MU’s international students adapt to U.S. college culture.

For many college freshmen, fall semester is their first time living away from home. But when a student’s home is across the globe, that adjustment is more profound. Mizzou has had a two-credit learning strategies class to help new students succeed. But Callie Fleming, coordinator of international student services at the International Center, and Nicholas Holladay, academic adviser in the division of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Science, knew international students needed more. The result was a learning strategies class specifically for international students. Fifteen students from seven countries took the first class in fall 2013.

The class covers not only traditional topics, such as test taking and note taking, but also how plagiarism rules are stricter in the U.S. and how it’s OK to share opinions during class. They also focused on American culture. Each student was paired with a U.S. student who acted like an older sibling. The pairs met 11 times during the semester, talking about everything from tipping in restaurants to how “recreational” basketball is aggressive and competitive.

In fall 2013, fifteen students from seven countries completed Mizzou’s first-ever learning strategies class designed specifically for international students. In additional to how to take notes and study for tests, the class covered cultural differences in classroom etiquette, campus life and community life. Student evaluations showed that all the students felt the course made them more prepared for their studies at MU. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Holladay.

In fall 2013, fifteen students from seven countries completed Mizzou’s first-ever learning strategies class designed specifically for international students. In additional to how to take notes and study for tests, the class covered cultural differences in classroom etiquette, campus life and community life. Student evaluations showed that all the students felt the course made them more prepared for their studies at MU. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Holladay.