Take advantage of Illinois’ academic resources


Ryan Fang

Bradley Woodruff, a Career Center staff, welcomes and checks in students at the Career Center on Tuesday, Jan 27 2016.

By Rachael Bolek, Copy chief

Moving away from home for the first time for your freshman year of college can be scary, but it can be even scarier when home isn’t just three hours away, but 3,000 miles away.

International students are tasked with a college workload, in addition to becoming accustomed to various social and cultural differences they aren’t used to. With the added pressures of adjusting to a new country, dealing with the intensity of college classes can be more difficult.

The University offers various academic resources that are available to students throughout the school year.

Office hours

The best way to figure out what a professor meant in a lecture or what a teacher’s assistant (TA) is expecting on an assignment is to visit their office hours. Office hours are typically listed on the syllabus handed out on the first day of class.

If you’re struggling in a class, going to office hours is a great way to discuss the material you’re confused about. Professors and TAs want you to succeed in their classes, and they will help you if you seek them out. However, they won’t know you’re struggling if you don’t see them, so make sure to meet with them if you’re having a difficult time.

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    If you can’t make their typical office hours, many professors and TAs will make time outside of these hours to meet with you if you email them about it or approach them after class.

    The Writers Workshop

    The Writers Workshop is a writing center at the University and is free to students. Students can get help developing arguments, interpreting professors’ expectations and understanding how to cite sources. These are vital skills in succeeding in classes like RHET 105 and others that focus on writing.

    The main location for the Writers Workshop is 251 Undergraduate Library. There are also tutoring locations at the IKE, PAR, Grainger Engineering Library and Burrill Hall. To make an appointment, call 217-333-8796.

    Career Center

    While the Career Center doesn’t help with anything class-specific, it does assist in preparing students for life after the University. The center is located at 715 S. Wright St.

    Students can drop in without an appointment to have a staff member review their resume or their cover letter, as long as they bring in a physical copy. The center also offers career drop-in advising to ask any career-related questions.

    One service the center offers that does require an appointment is career coaching. Students can meet with a career professional for 30 minutes to discuss what they want to do in the future and what it’s going to take to get there. These appointments are scheduled online.

    The Career Center also offers specific services for international students, including career programs, job search resources and information on work authorization.


    These are just three options to help you succeed at the University, but there are plenty more than this. There’s numerous tutoring opportunities throughout campus for different classes and topics. Also, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always start a study group of your own and get help from other students.

    It’s important to remember that these resources are readily available to you and faculty and staff are willing to help you in any way possible. However, no one is going to come to you first. It’s up to you to seek out help if you need it and utilize resources the University offers.

    Rachael is a junior in Media.
    [email protected]