University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching International and Multilingual Students

Student Support Outside the Classroom

For many international students, getting support outside of the classroom is a new concept. Specifically, students may not be familiar with online university management systems, office hours, study groups, how to find a tutor, or how and when to connect with their classmates outside of class. Students may also be hesitant to use these services and/or uncertain of when it is appropriate to do so. Here’s how you can help:

  • Invite or require your students to visit during office hours at the start of the semester. Sometimes an initial visit is all a student needs to help him or her feel comfortable with this concept.
  • Consider adding to your syllabus a section on how to find a tutor, whether it’s through the Tutoring Center, the Undergraduate Writing Center, the Graduate Writing Center, or privately.
  • Introduce your Blackboard course at the start of the semester.
  • Before an exam or other major assessment, consider organizing a study group. Simply set a date, time, and place based on a quick inquiry of student availability. Since international students may be less familiar with this kind of learning support and unsure what is involved, consider an explicit invitation or expectation of attendance.
  • When assigning group projects, leave a space on the assignment handout where students can list their classmates’ names and contact info.
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