Four-Year Academic Success Plan for International Students

The Four-Year Academic Success Plan serves as a guideline to help international students develop learning strategies and refine mindsets and personal management skills during their undergraduate study at Lafayette College. It is organized into four directions: Academic Success, Career Preparedness, Networking, and Professional Development. Academic advisors could also use this Four-Year Plan to ensure students stay on the right track during their academic and personal journey at Lafayette College. Click here to read more.

Essential Functions of Academic Advising 

Read this handout for a summary of the essential functions of academic advising and to learn how student characteristics can influence their importance ratings.

Advising Syllabus

Cultural differences as well as communication barriers can make it challenging for both student and advisor. One of the best ways to help the advisor/advisee relationship is to develop an advising syllabus. Of course, using an advising syllabus is recommended for all advisors, whether working with domestic or international students. However, discussing your advising syllabus with international students becomes even more important because of the different expectations that other countries have of academic advisors. You need to make clear the roles of both the advisor and advisee.

Students may not have an understanding of what an academic advisor does for students or vice versa. For instance, in India, students have a preset curriculum and usually do not have an advisor. They might assume that all their courses will already be chosen for them and there will be no decision-making on their part when scheduling courses. In China, an advisor does everything: schedules classes, arranges housing, talks with professors, and handles discipline. These differences necessitate the need for the advising syllabus to provide international students with something concrete that they can look back on when questions arise.

Here is a sample advising syllabus developed for Lafayette advisors to work with international advisees. pdf version & doc version



Missouri State University: A Guide for Advising International Students:

Smith, C. L., & Allen, J. M. (2006). Essential functions of academic advising: What students want and get. Nacada Journal, 26(1), 56-66.