Pitfalls of studying in different countries Dr.Pratibha Jain
Each country has its unique culture or protocol which takes time to adjust and to adapt. Pitfalls that students must avoid is ticking only with the group of Indians . Join societies on campus to make friends with people from other nationalities will help you fit in and is one of the primary reasons for studying abroad.
Take a balanced academic work load as self study forms a large part of the schedule. Application based study is the highlight of most international systems . This requires you to be disciplined and regular in everyday academic work, reading the references given to you . In the first semester if there is a choice, take familiar courses and do not try to be very ambitious. Once you have understood the system, only then venture into exploring different subjects or the more challenging ones.
Avoid buying books as they are really expensive. Learn to navigate the e-library system . All universities offer free training in using the library system . This is an absolute must in the first week itself , as it will make the journey of studying easier for you.
Do NOT study the Indian ways of relying on rote learning at the last minute . A load of extra reading on each topic is required to enable you to participate in the discussions and debates on topics.
Writing reports and dealing with Issue of Plagiarism is one of the greatest challenges that Indian students face during the first few months of study in any country abroad . Learning to write original reports or assignments should be a number one priority . In India, the rules for plagiarism are not strictly followed for written assignments at the school or the undergraduate college level . However, in all other countries, quoting or citing examples from books, journals and even web sites without acknowledging the source is a serious criminal offence which can lead to failing a course or even expulsion from the university.
Hence, students must become aware of the rules for writing any assignment , paper or even routine answers in class as per the requirement of the professor and the department . Citing source of information , indexing the sources clearly is the acceptable way to write a report.
For example, quotation from a source to explain a concept may be written as : According to instances that count towards plagiarism are as follows :“turning in someone else’s work as your own; copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit; failing to put a quotation in quotation marks; giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation; changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit; copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not. ”
Time discipline: Deadlines mean deadlines and there is no excuse for work submitted late even if it is by a few minutes. Most assignments are submitted through on-line internal portals which usually freeze or black out once the time limit is over.
Do not chase part time work at the cost of academics. Most countries allow 20 hours of part time work while on a student visa. However , the work is usually physically exhausting and takes away time from the academic focus. So, while it does pay pocket money, part teem work should be taken only if it does not disturb the academic performance. Remember it is the high grades in courses which will lead to high paying jobs and high courses. So do not work for pittance money when you should be studying and targeting the high quality full time jobs after completing your program ! .