Apr 10, 2019 | Atlanta, GA
Article By Autumn Siebold
Graduate school can be daunting — especially if you aren't familiar with the daily colloquialism and 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 this group of students make the most of life on campus. Read on to learn more.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Try an internship. Want to get some experience before graduation? More than 1000 Tech Master's and Ph.D. students worked off-campus in their major’s field last year. International students can obtain work authorization via Curricular Practice Training (CPT) (for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students). To qualify for CPT, students must register for a tuition-free internship course credit through the Center for Career Discovery and Development (C2D2) and have taken at least two semesters of classes at Tech.
- 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.
- 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.