Virginia Commonwealth University

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Students, Scholars & Alumni

Academic Success for International Students

Amber B. Hill, Ph.D.

Dear VCU international student, I'm Amber Bennett Hill, Director of Academic Programs. It is my responsibility to assist you in identifying and developing meaningful educational goals that are consistent with your personal interests, values and abilities. Together, we will develop strategies for achieving those goals. Consider this an invitation to join me in the creative process of your education and the decisions that go along with it.

International Student Academic Advising

One of the three key elements of the GEO's mission is to promote academic success for international students. An integral part of your academic success is the advising process. I will provide academic advising and assistance to help you make a successful transition from your home or from the English Language Program to your undergraduate or graduate curriculum.

Throughout this process, I will help you to:

  • develop your abilities to create and complete a challenging and meaningful academic curriculum;
  • clarify your academic and professional goals;
  • learn strategies for succeeding in the environment of a U.S. classroom.

Curriculum

It is my goal to help you develop and understand the logic of your own curriculum. You can think of this curriculum as your own personal academic path. Your curriculum is made up of many elements:

  • VCU's mission, culture and expectations;
  • the ideas and values of the major or degree program you choose;
  • your own experiences and values;
  • the courses you choose to meet requirements;
  • the knowledge you gain in each of those courses.

The GEO understands that every student is unique, and that each student enters the learning process at varying points and learns in different ways. VCU offers many resources for its students, including advisors in the University College and in the University's many departments. It is my task to supplement these sources with advising and resources tailored to your special needs as an international student. Achieving your goals will be a collaborative process. You and I will work together, as well as with faculty and students throughout the University.

Please understand that I will not make decisions for you during our advising sessions. I will provide you with the most accurate information available to me, and we will work together to create a realistic plan to accomplish your educational and career goals. However, the educational choices you make are yours and the responsibility for knowing and fulfilling degree requirements rests with you.

Sincerely,

Amber Bennett Hill
Director of International Student & Scholar Programs
VCU Global Education Office

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