Attending college classes for the first time can be scary, especially when the classes are not in your native language . . . but not with IEC@DVC’s Academic Bridge! In this program, students attend classes at Diablo Valley College and receive the support and resources of the International Education Center at DVC. In addition to the tips students learn during this program, here are some more tips for transitioning to college.
Tips for Transitioning to College
#1: Make friends
What’s the most important part about your new environment? Feeling like you belong! To help make yourself feel comfortable, be social and try to make friends. Put away your cell phone before and after class: instead, try beginning a conversation with some of the other students. Try to attend (or organize) a study group to meet more people and improve your understanding of the class.
#2: Introduce yourself to your professor
Professors (especially community college professors) love to get to know their students. Visit your professor during office hours and introduce yourself: while you are there, ask the teacher some questions you have about the class or his or her lectures.
#3: Join a group or club
The “college experience” is about more than just academics: it’s about growing as a person and learning more about yourself. A great way to do this is to join a group or a club: you can try something new, or improve your skills with a hobby you already have. Our article on Joining Clubs and Groups in College is a great place to get some ideas for how to become involved in your new campus and its activities.
#4: Surround yourself by motivated people
Some days, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to study. Everyone has this problem from time to time! Our advice is to surround yourself with motivated people who study hard. You can motivate them on days that they need some encouragement, and they can do the same for you.
IEC@DVC’s Academic Bridge Program
With IEC@DVC’s Academic Bridge program, students receive academic credit for two classes that they take at Diablo Valley College. While in the program, students also receive the support of IEC@DVC, such as:
- Study Sessions. Students learn the study techniques they need to succeed; they also receive tutoring and help with homework assignments. These sessions are with a trained teacher aide: these aids work closely with the DVC instructors and the Academic Bridge students.
- Success Seminar Workshops. Each week, students have a one-hour workshop. The workshops are to help students succeed at DVC, and they focus on things such as time management, how to transfer from DVC to a four-year college, how to research universities for transfer, and how to become involved on campus.
- Campus visits. IEC@DVC organizes tours for Academic Bridge students; this allows students to see local campuses. Tours can include UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and San Francisco State University.
- Pre-registration for DVC Spring or Fall semester classes. Academic Bridge students have the chance to complete DVC’s online academic orientation and register for next semester’s classes early. Students receive help with registration through IEC staff and the DVC International Student Academic Counselor.
- Activities. Academic Bridge students also have a lot of fun! Students can attend the many IEC@DVC-organized activities. Example activities include free movie days, laser tag, bowling, hiking, and swimming. IEC@DVC also organized trips to places such as San Francisco, Sacramento, Napa Valley, Santa Cruz, Muir Woods, and Yosemite National Park.
Begin your journey to college in the U.S.! Contact IEC@DVC for more information about the Academic Bridge Program.