1 2 3

Tutor Time

Tutoring services at U.S. universities help international students with different aspects of academic life.

The decision to study in the United States comes with a lot of lingering questions like “What if I need help with my studies—with my English, essay writing, mathematics or physics?”

Luckily, U.S. universities anticipate these concerns and are ready to meet their students’ needs, should they arise. They offer international students a variety of tutoring services to help with different aspects of academic life.

International student services at U.S. universities provide support to international students and their spouses for acclimatizing to American life and culture, and for English language. English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring helps improve pronunciation, reading, writing and listening comprehension skills. ESL tutoring is provided in different ways by different U.S. universities—some offer individual one-on-one help, some provide a tutor for small groups of two to three people with similar skills and others find adequate conversation partners with a similar level of proficiency and background.

The international student services also help in familiarizing students with American culture through a variety of classes and workshops.

At the International Tutoring Center in Northeastern University in Massachusetts, for instance, students can attend different Language and Culture Workshops focusing on American culture, English language skills and tips for academic success. Some of these workshops help teach students how to use academic sources and citations, time management, motivation and goal-setting, and even basic cooking.

Additionally, the tutoring center conducts Reading Workshops. These six free, non-credit classes help students develop reading habits to improve their concentration, as well as learn techniques to understand and remember new vocabulary, among others.

Many U.S. universities also offer help with academic subjects. At Minnesota State University Moorhead, the Academic Assistant Program provides tutoring services to all its students for a variety of subjects. Twice a week, they meet with a tutor, in groups of two to three, to work on their subjects. These student tutors are recommended by their academic departments and have International Tutor Certification. The services are provided by the Academic Support Center, and tutoring groups are formed at the beginning of each semester.

Some academic departments at Minnesota State University Moorhead have their own tutoring services, on a drop-in basis. For example, if students need tutoring in mathematics, physics, accounting and finance, or paralegal studies, they can go directly to their respective departments.
U.S. universities also offer help to all students with essay writing at writing support centers, whether English is their second or native tongue.

The Northeastern Writing Center provides both online and in-person help with essay writing. University tutors assist students in developing writing strategies during the appointments. The tutors work with them at various stages of the writing process and teach them how to respond to a variety of texts, thus improving their reading and writing proficiency.

International students are encouraged to take advantage of these services at the tutoring centers, as they provide students with the extra help necessary to thrive academically at U.S. educational institutions.


Natasa Milas is a freelance writer based in New York City.