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How to Succeed in American High School as a Foreign Student?

by Robin Smith

International students in American high school face a range of challenges and opportunities. Some of the challenges include language barriers, cultural differences, and difficulty adjusting to a new academic system.

These students may also experience homesickness and a sense of isolation from their peers.

However, they also have the opportunity to learn a new language, immerse in a new culture, and gain exposure to new perspectives and ideas. With support from teachers, counselors, and peers, international students can overcome these challenges and succeed academically and socially in American high schools.

As an international student, navigating US education can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Here are some key strategies that can help you succeed

  • Embrace cultural differences
  • Build relationships with peers and teachers.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Seek academic support when needed.
  • Improve English proficiency
  • Understand the school system and graduation requirements.
  • Stay organized and manage time effectively.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and be open to learning.

Understanding American High School Culture

Knowing The American High School Culture From Up Close

American high school culture can vary from region to region and school to school. Still, some general norms and expectations are standard across many schools.

Social Norms and Expectations:

  • Extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, and social events are essential to high school culture. Students are often encouraged to participate in developing skills, making friends, and building their resumes.
  • Dating and romantic relationships are also common in high school. Students will have to navigate these relationships responsibly and respectfully.
  • There may be dress codes that dictate what students are allowed to wear to school, and students will have to follow these guidelines.

Academic Norms and Expectations:

  • Academic achievement is highly valued in American high schools. Students are often encouraged to pursue advanced coursework and prepare for college or other post-secondary education.
  • Attendance is typically mandatory; students are expected to be on time to class and attend all of their classes regularly.
  • Students are usually graded on a letter scale (A-F). Their grades often determine their eligibility for extracurricular activities and college admissions.
  • Cheating and plagiarism are generally frowned upon and can result in severe consequences, such as failing a course or being suspended.

Extracurricular Norms and Expectations:

  • Students often participate in at least one activity to build their resumes and develop their skills.
  • Sports teams and clubs often have strict rules and regulations that students must follow.
  • Volunteer work and community service are also everyday extracurricular activities, and students are often encouraged to participate in building their resumes and giving back to their communities.

What Is The Role Of Teachers And Counselors In American High Schools, And How To Establish Positive Relationships With Them?

Teachers, counselors, and administrators play essential roles in American high schools. Teachers are responsible for instructing students and grading their work, while counselors provide academic and personal support to students.

Administrators oversee the school’s operations, including managing budgets, maintaining facilities, and enforcing policies.

To establish positive relationships with them, students must show respect and appreciation for their work, actively participate in class and school activities, communicate openly and honestly, and seek their guidance when needed.

It is essential to recognize that these individuals are there to support and guide international students to get their high school diploma evaluation. So, working collaboratively with them can lead to a more prosperous and fulfilling high school experience.

Developing English Language Proficiency For Navigating US Education Sector

Why Do You Need To Be Proficient In English to Navigate An American High School?

English language proficiency is crucial for success in American high schools as it is the primary language of instruction. However, students with limited English proficiency may need help understanding class materials, communicating with their peers and teachers, and completing assignments.

English proficiency is also essential for success on standardized tests and college entrance exams.

Developing English language proficiency can also enhance social and cultural integration, helping students engage more fully in their school communities and beyond.

How to Practice Your English Speaking Skills To Develop Proficiency?

Practicing English language skills through social activities and immersion experiences can be highly effective.

Engage in conversation with native speakers, watch movies or TV shows in English, read books or news articles, and participate in extracurricular activities that involve English.

Immersion experiences like homestays or language exchange programs can also provide valuable opportunities to practice and improve language skills.

How To Get Credential Evaluation For Attending American High School ?

Credential evaluation is essential for international students who wish to continue their education in the United States. It provides a standardized and reliable way to evaluate international students’ educational qualifications and achievements.

This ensures that American universities and employers recognize and understand their academic credentials.

Overview Of The High School Diploma Evaluation Process

Credential evaluation is verifying and assessing the authenticity, accuracy, and academic equivalency of educational and professional credentials earned outside the country where they are being evaluated.

The credential evaluation process typically involves the following steps:

  • Documents Submission: The applicant must submit the required documents to the credential evaluation agency. The documents typically include original educational transcripts in the native language.
  • Document Verification: The credential evaluation agency verifies the authenticity of the submitted documents.
  • Document Translation: the original documents will be translated into the official language of the receiving country if they are in any other language.
  • Equivalency Assessment: The credential evaluation agency assesses the equivalency of the foreign educational credentials by comparing them to the academic standards of the receiving country. The agency may also consider the professional standards and immigration requirements of the receiving country.
  • Evaluation Report: The credential evaluation agency prepares a detailed report that includes information about the educational institution, the academic program, the educational level, and the equivalency of the foreign educational credentials to those in the receiving country.

Generally, the required documents include the following:

  • Educational transcripts
  • Diplomas and degrees
  • Professional certifications
  • Proof of academic and professional licenses
  • Course descriptions and syllabi
  • Letters of recommendation

In Conclusion

Being an international student in an American high school does look like a daunting task. But with some research and tenacity, it is easy to merge into the stream. To help you in navigating US education sector, credential evaluation agencies work hard to provide accurate reports to ease international students’ acceptance process. Hopefully, this article gives you an idea about how to approach the school system in the US. In addition, it helps you with the credential evaluation process.

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