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Understanding US Classroom Culture

  1. Relationships with professors and students: Students tend to be less formal in the US than in most other countries. Professors schedule office hours outside of class so that students can discuss questions about the course. Use this time to get to know your professor, ask questions, and voice concerns.
  2. Self-achievement: Americans tend to be competitive, achievement-oriented, and direct in interactions. Emphasis is often placed on the individual rather than the group. Recognition of such cultural trends can ease the discomfort you may feel when you experience differences in interactions.
  3. Classroom participation: Student and teacher relationships tend to be more equal in the United States.  Professors expect and reward active student participation in the classroom. They want students to discuss their concerns, give opinions, and share information.
  4. Helper sources: In the US, there are many sources available if you need help. If you have trouble with a course, talk with your professor, faculty adviser, or counselor, or seek tutoring from the Learning Centers on campus. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness.
  5. STSU 101: This seminar course for international students is designed to assist beginning students in study and communication skills, educational and vocational development, adjustment, and understanding American customs. Academic regulations and the American educational system are also addressed.


International & Multicultural Student Center 

Located on the Takoma Park campus, the International & Multicultural Center works with STSU-101 classes helping students to understand & adjust to the US educational system. 

Eniola Olowofoyeku, Program Operations Coordinator
Phone: 240-567-3916

Hours of operation: Monday- Friday 9-4:30 pm, by appointment only (Hours subject to change).