Coming to a college in another country can be stressful in many ways. Studying in another language with new expectations is one of them. Ruoyuan Shen, a second year international student from China shares with us her experience with academics at Agnes Scott.
Entering college can be exciting, but one can also experience some nervousness, especially starting at a college abroad. I arrived at Agnes Scott last year, and it was my first time to set foot in the United States. While I was excited to embrace the new culture, I wasn’t very confident about the academics: “Will I get low grades because I am not a strong writer?” “Will the professor not like me because I am shy in class?”
Every new student is required to take two courses: English: The Craft of Writing and First-Year Seminar. I truly appreciated them. Both served as a bridge for me to college writing, which is a crucial skill in today’s world.
One of the great resources at Agnes Scott is the Center for Writing and Speaking. The tutors there are professionally trained to brainstorm, discuss and help correct our written work as well as to help us practice presentations or speeches. Now essays and presentations are no longer frightening to me!
In addition, thanks to the small student-faculty ratio, professors are able to remember every student in the class. Sometimes, if there are more people in one class, professors will take a picture of the class, and try to match the faces and names. This shows how much they care! Even when it comes to little things like pronouncing names, the professors make an effort to do it right and address us correctly. I speak from experience as an international student whose name can be hard to say.
My advice for all the new students is to always ask for help. The resources are out there to be utilized. Visiting a professor in their office isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, it will show them that you care about their subject and want to develop further. I often ask my professors for their expectations or clarifications on different topics. This is very helpful and will serve you well in a community like the one at Agnes Scott.
Ruoyuan Shen ’17