I got admitted for my Master’s programme in one of the private universities in Canada and in two months, I discovered some useful tips that have helped me so far. I believe these tips will also help you throughout your study programme.

Let’s be frank; being in a new environment for the first time can be very challenging and stressful. One thing I have always had at the back of my mind as I began my programme is that stress doesn’t kill. It will only make me stronger. Don’t be discouraged as you begin your programme in a new environment and culture. As you implement these tips, you will adapt and things will become smooth for you.

Depend on God. Don’t put God aside, most especially when it comes to your studies. You need to look up to Him to give you enough strength to carry on and to direct your path every day that you spend abroad. You need God to see you through this phase of your life in a new country.

Make friends and even with your lecturers. You need to make good friends who have the same mindset as you. It is even better when these friends are in the same class and department with you. These are the people you know you can fall back on when you have problems with one course or the other. You also need to make friends with your lecturers. Doing this will give you an advantage over your course mates. Having a good rapport with your lecturers will allow you to easily go to your lecturers when you need difficult topics to be clarified. I’m sure your lecturers will be very glad to welcome you.

Ask questions during your lectures. There’s no need to be shy or afraid to ask questions during a lecture. If your lecturer has said something that you do not understand, stop him or her and ask questions. By asking questions, your lecturer will find other ways of explaining the difficult point so that you can understand it better. Some students might make you feel like you are the dumbest person in class when you see them nodding their heads when the lecturer asks “Do you all understand”. Don’t worry about them. Make sure you actually understand before you nod your head too. Your lecturer will not crucify you for saying you don’t understand.

Get your hands on past questions and go for tutorials. When you make the effort to solve and study past questions, you will get a better insight as to how the lecturers set exam questions. This will help you a lot as you prepare for your exams. Lecturers and teachers can also organise tutorial sessions as a means of revision. Don’t ignore these sessions. They can help you to gain a better understanding of what you have been taught in class.

Get your head in your book. You need to read your books daily and study hard. There is no shortcut. You need to get familiar with what you are being taught in class. Don’t ever read to pass only but read to understand as well. That’s what you are tested on; your understanding of what has been taught. Don’t be surprised if your lecturers expect you to know things beyond the scope of what was discussed in class. You cannot know these things if you don’t study.

I really hope that you have gained something useful from these tips. It doesn’t matter what school you have been admitted to or whether you are studying an undergraduate or Masters programme. As long as you are diligent in applying these tips, they will work for you.

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