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Major: International Economic Relations
Status: Workygirl

I am fond of chocolates, flowers, friends, loud music, watching movies, taking pictures and traveling!!!

Sharpen Your Language Skills
Olya Bezvushko

Typing Skills. Before you come to the USA you should learn to type on a computer with English letters. It is necessary to be able to type quickly because there are make many written assignments for students in most American colleges. Graduate students prepare type4d thesis and dissertations. In some majors, like mathematics or engineering, students have to use computer to work on complex problems. You can become familiar with the basic computer functions and software packages at informal computer courses that are offered by many universities at the beginning of each semester.

Language skills. Proficiency in English is one of the most important factors for academic success. So, your ability to speak, read, write and understand English language is very important. International students have to take an examination of English language to get a chance to enter most academic institutions in the United States. Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the most common exam. Score requirements vary from school to school. In case you are offered a graduate teaching assistantship, you may be required to take a special test that will measure your English speaking skills, for example, TSE – Test of Spoken English. If you speak English fluently, it doesn’t mean that you enough written English skills. Consider that even native English speakers apply for additional help with writing and reading for academic purposes. Moreover, you should know that the most common method of instruction in US colleges and universities are lectures, and professors won’t reduce their usual lecture speed to accommodate to you. The better are you English skills, the easier it will be for you to finish assignments on time.      

Sharpening your language skills. Do everything possible to increase your English proficiency before coming to the USA. Read our advises that will help you to improve your language skills:

1. Think about joining a class or study group to perfect your foreign language skills before you go to the USA. Ask your home school or ask a US educational adviser to for suggestions.

2. Read magazines, newspapers and books in English, pay much attention to books from your field of study.

3. Watch TV programs and movies in English, listen to music or to radio in American English to get familiar with peculiarities of American pronunciation and slang. 

4. Practice English as often as possible. If there are any English speaking students at your home college, meet them and use the opportunity to talk to them.

5. Consider to come to the USA a couple of weeks before beginning your study at college or university. There are special summer ESL programs in some schools and introduction courses to US culture and society.

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