- Importance of Foreign Student Advisor
- Support and advice for international students
In the US, a ?Foreign Student Advisor? or ?International Student Advisor? is a specially designated person to guide international students with all the information they need to manage their university life. This is the person associated with a school, college or university who is in charge of providing information and guidance to foreign students in such areas as U.S. government regulations, student visas, academic regulations, social customs, language, financial or housing problems, travel plans, insurance and certain legal matters.
These student advisors are trained in the unique needs of overseas students. These are the ones to reach out to whether you need help, be it to contact the Indian embassy, to liaison with other departments on campus, to get information on banking, transportation, academic, health, and recreation services, or even working opportunities for international students.
It is the role of the Foreign Student Advisor to make international students feel comfortable in a new environment. Their contact details are usually available on the university website. It is advisable to carry their contact details on the flight in case there are any unforeseen questions that need to be answered on arrival at the destination.
In the UK, many universities have specialist advisors who support and guide international students through their stay in the UK. These advisors can guide you about a range of topics from finding the right accommodation, maximizing the benefits of your study plan, to visa issues.
For students pursing career based courses in the UK, most colleges provide dedicated ?international student advisors?. Apart from these, students? unions and student services departments also provide guidance regarding a variety of issues.
When it comes to academics, all students are assigned a personal tutor. The tutor will oversee your academic growth and guide you as necessary.
In Germany, there?s isn?t one single person who guides an international student in Germany. Instead, there are a number of ?advice services? that assist students in studies, accommodation, examinations etc.
• Central Student Advice Services (Zentral Studienberatung): This service answers general questions about studying ranging from courses, course content and scholarships.
• Faculty Student Advice (Studienberatung der Fakultšten): This service helps explain your programme structure, examination regulations and assists you in making your study plan.
• Subject Advice (Fachberatung): Provided by academic assistants in individual departments, this service helps students choose their specialization.
• Students Advising Students ((Studentische Studienberatung): Student Councils such as the AStA, UStA or StuRa and Departmental Student Societies provide helpful tips for examinations, recognition of credits, etc. They also help with other issues such as finding appropriate accommodation.
• Studentenwerk or Student Services: The Studentenwerke are partner organisations of the universities and support international students in various ways including accommodation. The Deutsche Studentenwerk is the umbrella organisation of the 58 Studentenwerke in Germany. Whichever University you are applying at, contact the local Studentenwerke to get guidance about accommodation, food etc.
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