Student Voices: Findings

  1. Challenges around learning in a second language
  2. Comparing the University of Minnesota to your previous school
  3. Interacting with University of Minnesota professors and staff
  4. What are the major problems you see for international students who are adjusting to being at the University?
  5. What would help international students adjust more easily during their first year?

Interacting with University of Minnesota professors and staff

Overview and Key Findings

The survey asked respondents to answer two multiple choice questions about their preferences for getting course-related help during their first semester. The questions in this section were designed to identify areas in which international students and their professors or instructors may have different preferences and expectations about from whom and when students should seek assistance. International students tended to prefer to ask questions to professors and teaching assistants immediately after class or during office hours.

3.1 Preferences for whom to ask for help

As seen in Table 10, most students in their first semester preferred to ask the professor for help, followed by preferences for the teaching assistant and other students.

Table 10. Preferences for getting course-related help. During my first semester, if I had any questions about the material or assignments, I generally preferred to get help from:

Answer %
the professor 38%
the teaching assistant 28%
other students 19%
Other 3%
my advisor 1%
No answer < 1%
Non completed 11%

3.2 Preferences for when to ask for help

Students were asked when they preferred asking questions that they had during class. Eighty percent of respondents preferred to delay asking class-related questions until a later time (see Table 11). Forty-one percent of respondents preferred to ask questions immediately after class. Only 7% preferred to ask their questions during class time.

Table 11. Asking course-related questions. During my first semester, if I had questions during class, I generally preferred to ask:

Answer %
immediately after class 41%
later, during office hours 21%
during class 7%
Other 3%
No answer < 1%
Non completed 11%

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Report Content

  1. Abstract
  2. Background
  3. Methods
  4. Findings
  5. Discussion
  6. Recommendations
  7. Limitations and Directions for Future Research
  8. References


Beth Isensee
Director of Student Engagement, International Student and Scholar Services