During your time studying abroad, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone in your journey. January is National Mentoring Month, but you can make use of your college’s advising resources any time you want. Advisors are there to help you navigate your way through college, reach your fullest potential, and make sure you’re feeling comfortable at every point during the process. Whether you’re not sure which classes to take or you’re feeling unsure about your plans after graduation, it’s important to be able to receive advice from somebody who’s more experienced than you are, and that you know you can trust. Here are some various forms of assistance that your advisor can provide you:
Think of your advisor as your personal coach for all things related to your college experience. They can help you define what you’d like to get out of your journey, lay out a path with steps to achieve your goals, and even pinpoint difficulties or roadblocks that might keep you from succeeding. When you meet for the first time, don’t be afraid to be honest with your advisor and talk about your hobbies, your goals for the year, and any fears that you might have. You can also ask your advisor about their background and career, especially if you’re interested in pursuing a job in a similar industry. Opening a friendly dialogue will give your advisor a better idea of who you are as a person, so they can offer specialized advice that’ll help you succeed in your own way. This will also make things easier the next time you meet with your advisor, so you can pick back up right where you left off.
When it comes to meeting with your advisor, there’s no such thing as a dumb question. You can ask as many questions as you want to, and they don’t have to be just about your classes. Ask about strategies to manage your workload and extracurriculars, different career paths and how to prepare for them, and what next steps you should take after your time studying abroad. Asking questions is the best (and sometimes only) way to find things out, and your advisor is there to answer your questions to the best of their ability. Prepare a list of questions and bring the list with you just in case you forget what you wanted to ask!
Chatting with your advisor is a great way to learn about internships, volunteering opportunities, student clubs to join, tutoring programs, and so much more. If you’re not sure what type of extracurriculars you’d like to participate in, just ask! Your advisor will be more than happy to help you decide which ones will supplement your program best and help you succeed in the long run.
Advisors are there to listen and to give you guidance throughout your entire time in college. Meeting regularly with an advisor is a great way to make sure you’re staying on track with your goals and getting the most out of your college career. Make sure you ask for your advisor’s email address so that you can follow up with questions whenever you need to. And remember that to receive help, all you need to do is ask.
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