My name is Mame Daour Diagne, I am a transfer student from the Suffolk University Dakar Campus located in the Westernmost part of Africa: Senegal. I am a senior candidate for a BSBA in Finance with a minor in Economics. Being an international student, I faced a lot of challenges and experienced a lot of situations that I would not want to see other international students get themselves into. For that reason, I think that writing tips and recommendations for upcoming international, as well as domestic, students will be a good way to help freshmen get the most out of their journey at Suffolk University.
1. International students services website (Home Away from Home Program)
I wish I had known about the Home Away from Home program when I first got to Suffolk. This way, I would have learned about different clubs and organizations in my freshman year and maybe would have been more than just a treasurer of one club. In addition, my first year was the hardest for me. Indeed, being away from family and friends is a new and challenging experience for any teenager and sometimes I wished I could open up to someone who would understand me, someone I could trust and would be able to see when something was going wrong. Sometimes, we need a little bit of counseling (which is offered by the University) to realize how strong we are. This is an opportunity for international students to meet new people, make friends, apply to new positions in clubs, and develop their communication, teamwork and leadership skills.
To learn more about the Home Away Home Program, please click on the link below.
2. Suffolk Chat
If you want to meet new people, ask questions, or simply chat with fellow students from Suffolk University, SuffolkChat is what you are looking for. You have the ability to create an account and talk to students, representatives of the university, alumni, etc.
If you would like to learn more and participate, please click on the link below to create a username and password: https://suffolkug.askadmissions.net/groupchat/LandingPage.aspx
3. Center for Learning and Academic Success
CLAS is a great resource for any Suffolk student. At CLAS, students have the ability to tackle course material by making appointments with tutors or going to informal study group sessions and seeking help from their peers. It is a way of learning the material from students who have already been in the class, and have already excelled in the subject and passed the class with high scores. This also means that students will be exposed to strategies and tips from successful students with math, writing, business, science, arts and humanities, and NESAD classes. In addition, CLAS offers students the opportunity to plan ahead, make SMART goals, and interact with an academic coach to organize themselves, achieve their goals and get the most out of their journey at Suffolk University.
Finally, CLAS provides an opportunity for students to become role models. By trusting students who performed well in a class and have a great ability to break down ideas and explain them in different ways to their peers, CLAS offers student employees the opportunity to gain skills such as communication, listening, writing, critical thinking, attention to detail, time management, teamwork and leadership.
Free feels good! Suffolk offers various scholarship opportunities to students. If you want to reduce your tuition or increase your cash inflow, a scholarship could be a great opportunity. Scholarships are based on various criteria including, but not limited to, academic performance; financial need; working for the CLAS as a scholar; community service; being part of the honors program; being a freshman, transfer, or part time student, etc…There are 3 types of scholarships: Federal, State, and institutional.
For more information on institutional or University scholarships, please click on the link below:
5. Career Development Center
International students have a hard time when it comes to finding a job off campus. Because of their visa status, employers are required to sponsor an international student if they want to offer him or her a job after their one-year Optional Practical Training. This is very hard because it costs money for companies to sponsor international students and, therefore, they would usually rather save money by employing a domestic worker.
In addition, doing an internship is a necessity for every undergraduate student. For some programs like Finance and Accounting, the internship is required. Most students fail to get an internship their sophomore or junior year; they wait until the last minute to apply everywhere and hope to get an internship, but that is not the best way to go about it. It is highly preferable to start making connections with employers starting freshman year so that you can increase your chance of getting your internship the 3rd and 4th year. The Career Development Center at Suffolk University gives students the chance to create resumes and cover letters and apply for job-shadows and informational interviews. In addition, the Center has yearly gatherings where employers and students are invited to the 9th floor of the Stahl building in order to network and give students a chance to land an internship or job.
To learn more about the Career Development Center, please click on the link below.
6. Save money; use the library’s book. Or at least wait until you know you need the book before you purchase it.
Buying books is a good investment. A book will always serve its purpose. However, if one is using a book for just a short period of time, or he or she is renting it, is buying the book the best option for students at Suffolk University?
The topic of buying books was covered in an earlier post but I wanted to share my personal experience with the topic.
In 2 of my classes, the professors explicitly said not to buy the books because we would not use them frequently. In the other classes, the professors would mention buying the books because they are a helpful resource to students at any time. I’ve only purchased one book since my freshman year at Suffolk University and I am a senior now. The reason I bought this book is that it was required by the professor to come to class with the book. For my other classes, I would just make sure I have a schedule that allows me to stay at the library long enough to use its books when there is traffic. Sometimes, the library gets crowded and a person who borrows the library’s book has the right to use for 2 hours. If I needed to have a chapter with me while in class, I would just photocopy the chapter and go to class with it. At the end of the year, it helped me save over $1000.
How many of us would rather practice in groups than alone? How many of us think that is it more effective to solve problems as a group and come up with different ideas and ways to find the solutions and interpretations than trying to solve it alone? Many of us! For those who prefer working alone, that is also fine! However, being able to seek help when you get stuck is also a non-negligible opportunity. At iStudy, professional math and writing tutors, as well as study group leaders and peer tutors, who are part of the most successful students at Suffolk University, get together on the last day of classes to answer questions from other students. iStudy gives students the opportunity to plan for their exams, practice problems, ask questions and seek help for managing their study time effectively.
Sometimes a peer student explains a concept better than the professor. Sometimes, the student would rather study with peers than go see the professor or send him/her an email. For other reasons, students do not interact with their professors or other students in their classes. For all these reasons, CLAS give students the occasion to come to iStudy for 6 hours and get the most out of it while reviewing for their exams.
Mame Daour Diagne,
Do you have any suggestions for in International students? Feel free to comment below!