8 Resources to Help International Students Transition to Life at Tech


Autumn Siebold
Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development

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Check out this list for eight resources for new and current international students at Tech.

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Starting graduate school can be daunting — especially if you don’t speak the language well and aren’t familiar with the culture.

Almost half of Georgia Tech’s grad students are international, coming from more than 100 countries to study here. That’s why Tech offers a variety of resources to help international students transition to life on campus.

Read on to learn about eight resources available to assist new and current international students at Tech.

  1. Check out the Campus Compass. Campus Compass is a comprehensive guide to get you started at Tech and includes information on class registration, paying your fees, and housing. It also provides a checklist for current students on maintaining F-1 or J-1 status, things to do in Atlanta, and a campus map.
  2. Spend summer on campus. The Summer Academic Preparation for Incoming International Graduate Students is a four-week summer program that helps international students with communicating in English, giving presentations, listening effectively in class, and academic writing. The program also gives participants the chance to live on campus and get to know the city before classes officially start in the fall.
  3. Improve your English. Whether you’re learning basic English or needing to fine tune your English skills, Tech’s Language Institute (GTLI) is available to help. It offers an intensive English program, which involves a two-month course for students to work on their communication before starting classes. International teaching assistants can get assistance through one-on-one coaching or a GTLI instructor can attend a lecture and provide feedback. You can also take a short course during the semester, an online course, or a custom course for your specific needs.
  4. Find your niche. Joining a student organization will help you meet international and domestic students while pursuing a new hobby. Tech has many student organizations including cultural groups like the Arab Student Organization, intramural sports like soccer, and recreation organizations like the Amateur Radio Club. You can find upcoming events or organization meetings on OrgSync.
  5. Get support. If you’re dealing with homesickness, culture shock, or stress, the Counseling Center can help. Students can schedule appointments with a counselor from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Smithgall Student Services Building. The Counseling Center also offers informal walk-in meetings with counselors through the Let’s Talk program. 
  6. Try an internship. Want to get some experience before graduation? You can get credit for an internship or Co-op through Curricular Practice Training (CPT) (for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students). This program offers a chance to work off campus in your major’s field. CPT can also fill internship requirements for City and Regional Planning or Informational Design and Technology. To qualify for CPT, students must get an internship through the Center for Career Discovery and Development (C2D2) and have taken at least one year of classes at Tech.
  7. Get a job. It’s never too early to start thinking about your career after graduate school. So, check out the International Students Professional Development Series. Here, you’ll find guides on how job searches work in the United States, websites to search jobs by visa listings, and campus resources like Tech’s immigration attorney and employment workshops. The series also has information for entrepreneurs including alumni panels on starting a business and campus resources like the Invention Studio.
  8. Ask for advice. Throughout your time at Tech, the Office of International Education’s advisors are available for walk-in visits Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1-4:30 p.m., or by appointment Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9-11 a.m. They can assist with managing your visa status, changing your major, and more.

For more information on resources for international students, visit oie.gatech.edu.

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  • Created By: asiebold3
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 10, 2019 - 1:05pm
  • Last Updated: Apr 24, 2019 - 9:38am