Academic Advising and Advisors

A lot of international students are not very familiar with the term "Advisor". Behind the term, there are hundreds of people who can help you to earn your degree successfully. No matter if it is the beginning of your college life or the end, you will meet with an advisor to create a detailed plan for both your academic and future career.

As a freshman, you will be assigned an advisor from the University of Division unless you have been admitted into a specific major directly. During the orientation, IU will send you an email including an arranged appointment time. Beside this appointment and after the orientation, you will able to make an appointment through https://starnet.indiana.edu/. by using your IU username and password. 

Academic Plan

Academic Advisors will help you to make an academic plan. This academic plane can be either for one semester or for four years of your Bachelor degree. After you get into the school/major, you will be assigned to a specific advisor. At this time, the advisors will able to help you make a detailed and integrated academic plan based on your major, minor, and certificated.

Get some advice on choosing classes from your advisor! There are some classes you'll need permission, some classes are not offered every semester, some classes will be provided during Summer, and some classes you may take online or through another institution. This kind of information may not be available or clear enough to understand. Advisors are professional people with a lot of experience.

Adding/Canceling Major, Minor, Certificates

Many students choose to use their elective credit to add a double major, a minor, and/or a certificate. Before you do that by yourself or through the Registrar Office, you should go and see your advisor. For example, I have a second concentration on Art History, which also fulfills the requirement of a minor on Art History. My advisor told me that I could double major in Art History if I would take 3 more courses when I consult with them about the minor.

Career

Some schools at IU provide Career Counseling. Academic Advisor can provide help for your future career as well. They can tell you the most popular minor if you are majoring in Marketing. They can direct you to the right person to edit your resume and cover letter. My advisor at the School of Fine Art has a page on Canvas. This page include some associations I can participate, career fairs, possible job and its duty, and even specific companies if I want to work overseas.

One advising appointment lasts about 30 minutes. So, here are some tips for you before your appointment so you can make a good use of the session.

1. Here is a link of "Explore Majors", which will direct you to the major, minor, and certificates you are interested. Bulletins are what you need look for general requirement and detailed information! Here are the website for bulletins of all the schools at IUB: http://bulletins.iu.edu/iub/.

2. Look through these introduction and requirements carefully so you will not ask those questions, which have questions on the websites.  

4. Then, you should make several lists for your upcoming semester. The first list is for the first-choice courses. The second list is for back up selections.  If possible, please generalize a schedule by yourself to see if there is any time conflict of courses. Here is the website for class schedule. You can find class offerings, schedule, available positions, and so on.

5. PLAN AHEAD!! Ask the advisor what you need to look at and search for a four-year academic plan.

6. Some courses are not offered every semester. You need to know when you want to take it before it is too late to take them.

7.  Keep balance! You don’t want to have 18 credits of Math, i-core, Sciences, Writing courses every semester. So planning ahead help give your more choices and freedom to adjust and make a change.

If you are a transfer student, here is an article you may find helpful: Tips for International Transfer Students on Making an Academic Plan

About The Author
Luyuan(Ruby) LiClass of 2016

I'm a senior studying Journalism at Indiana University Bloomington. My minor and second concentration is Art History. I am originally come from Shenzhen, China, and came to America for high school when I was 17. I lived in St. Louis for four years and decided to transfer from Saint Louis University to IU as an International Transfer Student. I am a member of Internation Student Ambassadors.