International students transitioning to Wright State quiz faculty on test-taking, course-load

LEAP students, who will transition to Wright State in the next two semesters, asked questions of faculty members during a discussion in February.

The challenge of test-taking and what course-load to take are on the minds of a group of international students at Wright State University.

Those issues came up during a panel discussion between faculty members and students in the high-intermediate class of LEAP, the Learning English for Academic and Professional Purposes Intensive English Program.

The panel discussion took place in February before Wright State suspended all campus events and moved to full remote learning for the spring and summer semesters in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The students, who will transition to Wright State in the next two semesters, were able to ask questions and gain insight on what the American college life is like.

Faculty on the panel were Brandy Foster from the Department of Computer Science, Jennifer Subban from the School of Public and International Affairs and Rosemary Eustace from the College of Nursing and Health.

Being successful in taking exams was one of the challenges mentioned by students.

“I’ve seen students who have been extremely prepared and knowledgeable struggle with tests, and I think it’s because test-taking is very different in America than other places,” said Eustace. “Test-taking is a skill, and it’s something (students) will have to study and get familiar with.”

Other questions included how to engage with professors during office hours, how many credit hours to take each semester and the differences in culture when coming to America. There was also a discussion on reading for fun, which Foster said she highly encourages.

“Even though you will be reading a lot for your classes, I think reading for enjoyment is a great way to relax during stressful times,” she said.

Wright State’s LEAP Program provides full-time and part-time English instruction and helps non-native speakers develop the linguistic, academic and social skills they need to be successful. LEAP also offers six-week pronunciation classes to students and community members three times a year.

Tricia Bisoski, an adjunct professor at LEAP, helped organize the panel discussion.

“This is one of my favorite events to do with LEAP students,” she said. “It gives students the chance to learn about different class structures, talk about teachers’ expectations and, most importantly, builds students’ confidence before they join the rest of the university.”

Subban ended the discussion by saying that she hopes the students will work hard, but also enjoy their time at Wright State.

“The most important thing is to find balance,” she said. “Also, form meaningful relationships with your professors and classmates to help you get the best out of your college experience.”

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