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ELL/ESL Student Resources and Tools for Your Master’s Degree

Take advantage of these resources designed specifically to help ELL and ESL students succeed in graduate school.

Author: Quinn Dannies

Editor: Staff Editor

A diverse group of students sitting at desks, clapping and smiling in a classroom, looking towards a teacher standing in the foreground.

Any student in the U.S. whose first language is not English is considered an English language learner (ELL) or an English as a second language student (ESL). English language learners come from many different places and from all sorts of backgrounds. For example, ELL or ESL students may have been born in the U.S. but spoke a different language at home. Some students may be immigrants to the U.S. Others may be international students.

ELL and ESL graduate students bring experiences, skills, and ideas that improve any graduate program they participate in. If you are an ESL student considering graduate school, your language history does not have to be an obstacle to your success. Likewise, finances should not inhibit you from earning your graduate degree. We’ve put together this guide to introduce you to the resources, strategies, and programs that will help you pay for and excel in graduate school.

Key ELL/ESL Terms to Know

As you look into U.S. graduate programs, you’ve likely seen numerous acronyms used to describe English as a second language students and programs. To help you navigate the many different English language learning descriptions, you’ll find a list and discussion of some of the most common acronyms below.

  • EFL: English as a foreign language (EFL) is used to describe English programs in places where English is not an official or primary language. Generally, non-native English speakers participate in these programs in their home country to prepare for studying internationally. It is difficult to become fluent in English solely through EFL programs. Still, they provide a strong foundation in grammar and vocabulary.
  • ELL: English language learners (ELLs) are non-native English speakers studying the language. Although this term is more common in earlier levels of education, you may encounter this term at the university level. At the graduate level, ELL students may have access to supplemental classes or resources to increase their written and verbal English fluency.
  • ELP: English language proficiency (ELP) refers to a student’s level of fluency in the language. At lower levels of education, these standards are used to evaluate non-native speakers’ progress in the language. At the university level, this term may be used in material describing fluency requirements for international students.
  • ESL: English as a second language (ESL) is the most common term you will hear to refer to students who are not native English speakers. It is important to note that ESL students can be of any nationality. Additionally, this term covers a broad range of English speakers, including those who learned the language at a young age and speak fluently and students who are still studying basic grammar and vocabulary.
  • ESOL: English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes are available for English language learners who want or need formal instruction. ESOL programs might be available through your university, and there are typically in-person or online courses. In some cases, your school may require you to participate in ESOL classes, and you may find them to be valuable tools to help you succeed in your studies.
  • ESP: English for specific ppurposes (ESP) classes are valuable resources for students whose studies require a specific or technical vocabulary. Typically, these classes will be divided by subject matter. Classes will dive deep into program-specific language to ensure that you understand the nuances of relevant technical terms.
  • IELTS: The International Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English fluency exam many schools use to measure international students’ English language skills. Generally, these test scores will be submitted alongside your application materials, and your scores in these exams can seriously influence your chances of acceptance. EFL and ESOL courses are excellent resources to prepare for this test.
  • LEP: Limited English proficiency (LEP) students are typically ESL students who are not yet fluent in English. This term can describe total beginners in the language and students who have achieved conversational levels of English. If a student is LEP, universities may offer supplemental coursework or resources to help a student succeed. On the other hand, some universities may not accept LEP graduate students.
  • Language Fluency: Discussions about language fluency refer to a person’s skill in a given language. Broadly, fluency describes one’s ability to speak, write, read, and understand a language. Many ESL students describe the experience of becoming fully fluent in English as the moment they began to think or dream in the language.
  • Native Language: A person’s native language is the first language they learned, typically whichever language was used in the home. This may be a regional dialect, the language of your ethnic group, or one of your country’s official languages.
  • Primary Language: Your primary language is the one you use most in your day-to-day life, workplace, or educational setting. For many people, their primary language is also their native language. However, if your native language is not the official or primary language of the country you grew up in, your native and primary languages might not be the same.
  • TESOL: The Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification qualifies educators to teach English to ELL or ESL students. TESOL teachers have taken a series of classes and challenging exams to demonstrate their ability to effectively help ESL and ELL students learn English. As a result, quality EFL instructors typically carry the TESOL. Additionally, many U.S. educators earn this certification in order to work with ESL students at every level of the educational system.
  • TOEFL: Alongside the IELTS, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam is one of the most common ways universities determine English language proficiency. Most U.S. graduate programs will specify a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score to be considered for a program. Fortunately, many excellent courses are available to help you prepare for either exam.

How to Support ELL Students in Grad School

Most schools’ admissions policies ensure that ESL graduate students meet specific standards for English proficiency. However, language skills aren’t the only challenge ESL students face when entering a master’s program. For example, students from different cultural backgrounds may have trouble understanding classroom expectations and social norms. In other cases, approaches towards writing and critical thinking follow different paths than U.S. academics.

ELL graduate students may need more or different support than their native-English-speaking peers. Identifying the best ways to support ESL students can be tricky, but here are some good ways to start.

Assess student needs

The TOEFL and IELTS exams are popular ways to gauge a student’s English proficiency. But assessment shouldn’t stop there. Some students test extremely well but struggle in everyday situations,while the opposite is also true. To ensure that students’ needs are accurately assessed, advisors, professors, and tutoring center employees should be equipped with the skills needed to determine ESL students’ unique needs and direct them to the appropriate resources. Identifying and addressing student needs early on in a program can help them stay on track and prevent academic issues down the road.

Offer individualized learning opportunities based on student needs

Like all students, ESL students have their own learning styles. Encouraging instructors to incorporate an array of teaching strategies into their courses can help students from all backgrounds succeed. Additionally, ELL students may face challenges with spoken and written comprehension. Speech-to-text and closed captioning systems could be beneficial for some students. Further, translation support or bilingual tutoring may help students stay on track.

Finally, take steps to ensure that ESL students know where and how to ask for help. For example, consider pairing students with a peer or faculty mentor, offering supplemental orientations, and ensuring that student resource information is translated into various languages.

Provide students with on-campus resources that they need in order to be successful

Even highly proficient or fluent ESL students many struggle with the day-to-day language requirements of academia. If your institution accepts international students or English language learners, it is essential to provide these students with the additional resources they require in order to succeed. At many campuses, these resources include:

Courses that focus on oral communication in English for everyday purposes

Many ESL students will have participated in EFL classes in their home country. While these programs provide an excellent foundation in vocabulary and grammar, there can be a gap between these classes and informal communication. International students may be challenged by regional accents, slang, and the structure of casual communication. Courses that immerse students in everyday communication can help them feel more comfortable in their new environment and connect with their peers.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP), which prepares students for college coursework

These courses are especially helpful for students in jargon-intensive disciplines. Typically EAP classes help students understand acronyms and technical terms that would not be covered in a general language program. Additionally, ESL students can bring coursework and terminology from other courses into EAP classrooms to help with comprehension.

English language institutes that focus on language and cultural training specifically for international students who have not previously studied in the U.S.

Often, these institutes can take place as an immersion program before the start of the semester. These institutes can include courses on everyday English to help students navigate daily interactions. Students might go on excursions to get familiar with their new environment. Additionally, students will have a chance to connect with peers, administrators, and faculty to help them build a support system as they begin their new program.

Tips for Success as an ELL Grad Student

The truth is, earning a master’s degree is tough. What’s more, Earning a master’s degree in your non-native language has its own set of challenges. However, as an ESL graduate student, you also bring unique skills and ideas to your work. Plus, for better or worse, English is the primary language of academia. So, earning your master’s in an English-speaking program will make it easier to publish articles and advance your career overall.

Before classes start, it is a good idea to make a plan to manage your classwork and research in order to maximize your learning and minimize your stress. Here are some top tips from other ELL graduate students.

Make Friends with Students From Other Cultures

A strong community can help you feel supported and provide you with essential resources. This is especially true if you are moving to a new place to earn your master’s degree. Making friends with locals can help you learn your new home’s language, geography, and customs. Connecting with other ESL and international students can make the experience of learning a new language in a new place feel less lonely.

Speak up When You Need Help

There is no shame in asking for extra help. Students from all backgrounds will typically seek support from their professors or university resources when they are struggling. As an English language learner, your needs might be a bit different, but that is not a reason to avoid seeking out the assistance you need. This doesn’t just mean seeking out academic help. Your school may offer healthcare and counseling services, there might be cultural groups on campus or in your community, and there may just even be a way for you to connect with someone from home.

Get a Tutor or Extra Help

As an ESL student, you may have different academic needs than your peers, so you may have to seek out tutoring or extra language learning opportunities to help you stay on track. When applying to schools, ask about their resources for ELL students and take advantage of those opportunities. It may also be worthwhile to seek out a language or subject matter tutor that speaks your native language. Finally, don’t be nervous about visiting your professors during office hours or setting up meetings to review your assignments or ask questions about the material.

Get to Know Your Professors

Your professors want to see you succeed. Plus, they share your academic interests. It makes sense to build relationships with and seek mentorship from your instructors. Attending department events and visiting during office hours are great ways to develop connections with your teachers. Demonstrating your enthusiasm for the subject and working hard in your classes can also help you get on your professor’s good side. The relationships you build with your instructors can help you succeed in your classes and open up work and research opportunities after you graduate.

Find a Study Partner

Studying with a partner can be much more engaging than sitting in your room alone. Working with a peer allows you to discuss material and develop a deeper understanding of course content. Plus, you can help each other with ideas that you are struggling with, so you are more prepared for lectures and exams.

Only Take on What You Can Handle

Regardless of what their first language is, all graduate students need to be realistic about how much work they take on. For starters, picking up a part-time job or side hustle is not a good move until you have an idea of how much school work you’ll be doing. Additionally, if you are struggling to keep up, consider reducing your courseload or finding other opportunities to take responsibilities off your plate so you can focus on excelling in your classes.

Ask Professors For Supplemental Materials

The last thing grad students want is more work, but if you find yourself struggling in your courses, there may be some key concepts that aren’t getting through. Taking the time to build a solid understanding of course content will be worth it in the long run. And don’t be nervous about asking for help. Your professors will appreciate your initiative and be happy to support you.

Balance School and Outside Obligations

Balance looks different for everyone. You’re the best judge of how much you can take on, but you should be realistic in your assessment.. Keep in mind that there is also more to life than just your studies. Plan time to rest and recharge as well. This can mean exercising, seeing friends, cleaning your house, catching up on sleep, or whatever else makes you feel good. By scheduling blocks of time for non-school activities, you can enjoy your breaks without feeling like you are getting behind.

10 Scholarships for ESL Master’s Degree Students

Master’s degrees are expensive, so it makes sense to take advantage of any available funding. As an English language learner, you should strongly consider applying for scholarships aimed at ESL students. This isn’t a comprehensive list of the scholarships available to you, but we’ve identified 10 promising opportunities below.

The Aga Kahn International Scholarship Program

  • Based on need
  • The Aga Kahn scholarship fund is designed to support talented students from developing countries. The program only considers applicants who have been accepted to a reputable graduate program and can demonstrate genuine financial need.
  • Application information by country is available on the Aga Kahn Foundation website.

The American National University International Tuition Deposit Grant

  • One term’s tuition fees is awarded
  • This grant is open to second-year international students at American National University. This one-time grant is available to all international students who continue into their second semester at the school. All eligible students will be considered automatically, and no additional application is necessary.
  • Learn more about the International Tuition Deposit Grant on the school’s website.

The American Association of University Women International Fellowship

  • $20,000-$50,000
  • This program is geared towards women who are not U.S. citizens seeking to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. at a U.S. institution. Strong candidates will demonstrate a commitment to the equality and empowerment of women and plan to return to their home country to pursue careers in leadership after degree completion. 

More information and an application can be found on the AAUW website

The David C. Lizárraga Fellowship

  • Varying amounts are awarded
  • This graduate-level fellowship is for first-generation graduate students pursuing degrees in business or engineering. However, strong applications in other fields may be considered. Priority is given to students from underserved communities and demonstrating financial need.
  • Apply through the TELACU Education Foundation

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund

  • $500-$5,000
  • A merit-based scholarship for U.S. residents of Hispanic heritage. Applicants must be planning to enroll at a nonprofit university. Scholarship recipients will also have access to mentorship programs and networking opportunities. Graduate student applicants must maintain a GPA of at least 2.5.
  • The HSF Scholarship Program Application

The Houtan Scholarship Foundation

  • $3,500
  • The Houtan scholarship is directed toward Parsi-speaking students who demonstrate an active interest in Iranian culture. The recipient’s studies should be designed to advance knowledge or visibility of Persian culture. This scholarship is open to students of all backgrounds. Still, applications must be submitted in Parsi, and applicants should demonstrate a strong command of the language.
  • You can apply for the Houtan Scholarship on the foundation’s website

International Association of Black Actuaries Scholarship

  • Award$1,500-$5,000
  • This scholarship is open to Black undergraduate and graduate students who intend to pursue an actuarial career. Applicants should be of African descent and live in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, or any African nation. In addition, applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, and special attention will be given to their academic performance in math and communication courses.
  • Apply on the International Association of Black Actuaries website.

The Labroots Graduate Research Scholarship

  • $1,000
  • This scholarship is for graduate students seeking research funding. It is open to students of all backgrounds, not just non-native English-speaking students, but the organization specifically encourages international students to apply as part of their commitment to worldwide scientific excellence.
  • Application for the Labroots Graduate Research Scholarship

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers John Deere Scholarship

  • $2,000
  • This scholarship is for Hispanic graduate students and undergraduate juniors and seniors who are pursuing degrees in STEM. Ideal candidates will demonstrate leadership skills and excellent academic performance.
  • Apply for this and other scholarships from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers through their online scholarship portal.

20+ Resources for ESL Graduate Students

There is a world of resources out there to help you as you pursue your graduate degree as an English-learning students. Here are several of the best for you to check out.

  • The Center for Global Education: This website aims to provide all the resources needed for international students to succeed at U.S. universities. This includes information about international student programs, cultural resources, and networking resources.
  • CommonLit: This is an excellent resource if you’d like to work on your reading comprehension. This free site has a database of thousands of short stories for ESL students at every level.
  • EdX TOEFL Test Preparation Guide: This is a free course to help you prepare to ace your TOEFL exam. Students typically complete this self-paced program in six weeks.
  • Education USA: This government-run site has all the resources you need to apply to programs, obtain your visa, and successfully study in the U.S. There are also financial aid resources available on the site.
  • ESL Go!: Although this page is specifically intended for the Purdue University ESL program, students at other institutions may find the information equally valuable. In addition to resources for English language learners, the site also covers the basics of graduate education programs in the U.S.
  • ESLnotes Movie Guides: Watching movies is a pain-free way to improve your comprehension and learn new vocabulary. ESLnotes’ Movie Guides introduce you to the key plot points, vocabulary, and idioms before you watch the film. This way, you can focus on the action and the language without pulling out your dictionary every 30 seconds.
  • ETS.org TOEFL Practice Tests: This site offers practice tests for the TOEFL exams, including performance feedback. There are also alternative accessible formats available. Additionally, students can access information about testing locations and scheduling.
  • Graduate Employee’s Organization International Student Resources: This resource guide from the University of Michigan’s graduate student resource includes valuable information on maintaining your visa and navigating school resources and policies for international students.
  • Grammar Bank: Some ESL graduate students struggle with grammar and punctuation. This site can be a helpful resource while you are writing. It also offers lessons, quizzes, and games to help you improve your grammar and vocabulary.
  • Grammar Girl: If you’d like to improve your listening skills and grammar simultaneously, this podcast is for you. In every episode, Mignon Fogarty breaks down the quirks of the English language.
  • IELTS Prep: This IELTS test prep site is managed by the British Council to help ESL students prepare for English-language education. The site includes preparation materials, frequently asked questions, and scheduling information.
  • Job Search Resources for International Students: U.S. student visas are pretty strict about if and how you can work while you study. This guide from Princeton University explains the rules and provides resources about paid internships that you can apply for legally.
  • Mississippi College Writing Center: This ESL-specific page links to quality online dictionaries and grammar resources. They also recommend guides, courses, and print materials that ESL graduate students may find useful.
  • Northeastern University Tips for International Graduate Students: This article provides an excellent breakdown of the process of applying to a U.S. university as an international graduate student.
  • NAFSA International Student Resources: This page has helpful information on financial aid opportunities for international students. It also has resources specifically for international graduate students.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: This site is a staple in U.S. undergraduate and graduate education resources. It can help you format your essays correctly, avoid academic dishonesty, and offers some helpful writing and editing tips.
  • Reddit English Learning Forum: This is another community space where English learners help each other out. Users can ask grammar, vocabulary, or culture questions and receive feedback from other ESL individuals or native speakers.
  • Resources for Undocumented Graduate Students: This directory from the site My Undocumented Life breaks down the graduate school application process, funding opportunities for undocumented students, and a host of tips from current undocumented graduate students.
  • Skooli ESL Tutoring: If you choose to seek out a tutor, Skooli is a great place to start. This service matches you with a tutor based on your fluency level and field of study so that your tutoring is relevant to your coursework.
  • The Top International Student Resources You Need: This piece from Forbes Magazine offers in-depth advice on how to pick the best graduate program as an international student. It also covers the logistics of financing your education and obtaining your credentials to study in the U.S.
  • TedEd: This site lets you pick short Ted Talks to watch on a whole range of subjects. You can use closed captioning, and each video comes with a set of comprehension questions to help you make sure that you understand the content of the talk.
  • UniLang Forum: This community forum is just for English language learners. Here, you can reach out about practical challenges you are experiencing or seek moral support. Forum members work together to help answer your questions.
  • Washington State University ESL Resources: This page offers essential study and writing tips for ESL students. The page hosts articles on critical reading and academic writing conventions.
  • Write & Improve: This free program from the University of Cambridge lets you respond to hundreds of writing prompts and receive real-time feedback on your content, grammar, and style. The interactive program allows you to experiment with editing to help you learn to check your own work.

Interview with an ELL Graduate Student

Dr. Lydia Huerta

Dr. Lydia Huerta is an assistant professor of gender, race, and identity at the University of Nevada, Reno. Huerta specializes in 20th and 21st century cultural studies of the Americas, with an emphasis on the relationship between social media and narratives about the U.S. and Mexico border. Her primary research examines the cultural production created in response to the women killings in Ciudad Juárez since 1993. Other research interests focus on social movements, cultural narratives, and public policies created in the United States and Mexico, which call attention to issues related to undocumented populations, specifically, women and LGBTQ migrants.

Can you tell us about your background as an ESL grad student and a professor who works with ESL students?

I am an assistant professor of gender, race, and identity studies here at the University of Nevada, Reno. I used to teach communication studies as well. I am the first person in my family to earn a Ph.D. My family and I moved to the United States when I was fourteen. English is my second language. It’s different going through education as a second language learner than as a native speaker. The ways that you think, explain things, write things, and so forth isn’t the same as native speakers.

What was your experience in grad school as an English language learner?

Going through grad school as an English language learner was definitely interesting because I did my Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures. So I was primarily writing in Spanish. However, when you submit articles, they have to be in English. And the ways in which Spanish writers think and write are structurally different from the ways that English speakers write. For example, in English, we usually have a thesis then we see the argument through with evidence and examples. In Spanish and Portuguese, we start with an idea and take a circular path to get to the argument, then we end with a question about how this contributes to the field. I think that is what I found the hardest in terms of writing as a grad student.

The other thing that was really hard was vocabulary. Because while I had an English vocabulary, I would also make up words that I thought could be applied. Then my professors would tell me this word doesn’t exist. My professors would tell me that I needed more language to make my points clear. Psychologically, it was hard because I felt like I wasn’t enough no matter how I did things.

Did you feel like people had different expectations for you in grad school because you were an English language learner?

Absolutely. I think that people expect you to have a level of writing that is on par with native speakers. But the issue is that in undergrad, nobody ever tells you how to write or gives you feedback. It was frustrating because I think a lot of us who are second language learners in high school get an opportunity to learn something about writing, but then when we get to university, we are kind of on our own. In grad school, you are absolutely on your own.

So, a lot of my friends who were coming from other countries and writing in English for the first time had to take English proficiency classes at the university or community college so that their writing could get up to par. And even here at UNR, for example, students in the sciences had to take English closest to the ESL program here to learn how to write in the U.S. style.

What were some strategies you developed to succeed in your program while facing these obstacles?

To start, I made a list of action verbs. So, words like underscore, highlight, and emphasize. Everything that could be an action verb. I had them all taped to my desk. This gave me more vocabulary to use when I was writing. Because it was just very hard for me to write in a way that was considered appropriate. I had a professor who would circle in a paragraph I would repeat a word. So, I kept it in my head that I couldn’t use a word more than twice in a paragraph. And I would write all these rules down and keep them on the wall by my desk.

Eventually, I ended up with a checklist I used before I turned things in. For example, one of the rules included checking “there” and “their” or “affect” and “effect.” Those types of things. It is interesting to think about this because different languages make some words confusing in English. So just learning to make those rules for yourself can be really helpful.

I have some grad students now that are from another country. One of the first things I tell them now is to find a writing or article that they love, look at it, think about the structure, and look at how the author is indicating what they are talking about and what they are going to talk about next. There is this threading that is happening through the article that allows you as a reader to follow along. Even if it is research and it is dense, all writing is a story. You have to figure out what story the author is telling and how are they telling it. Arguments come and go, but stories you remember. So, I tell my students to think about how to make their arguments into a story.

A lot of people focus on the challenges of being an English language learner in grad school. What do you see as the advantages of studying in grad school as an English language learner?

One of the big things is rigor. I notice my international students have a lot more discipline. They are used to writing long papers and taking notes. In U.S. schools, we don’t do that as often. It is really important to think about how that is an asset. Because you already have the training to do the things you need to do. You just need to learn how to do it in English and in the U.S. style.

Also, we have a lot of advantages because we are thinking in two languages and two ways of seeing the world. When you are writing, you can bring your worlds together. Being able to move between worldviews helps make research better. It helps make writing better. It gives people an opportunity to see that there is a different way of seeing or saying something.

When I was in school, there was a lot of emphasis on assimilation. There was pressure to adapt to the rules of English writing. But to me, English language acquisition isn’t about assimilation. It’s about learning a different worldview and negotiating the set of rules in this system versus the system back home.

Are there strategies that help students whose second language is English keep up with material and lectures and the fast pace of language in grad school?

Definitely. I watch movies with captions on because it helps me see how people think. I also listen to podcasts in my field to help me learn the language of my subject. Like if you’re in hydrology, listen to podcasts on hydrology to learn the vocabulary.

Are there accommodations available to ESL students to help them during lectures and homework?

Through the university, there are some. But they don’t offer translation. You can have some of the same services [like closed captioning and recording] as someone with a learning disability, but they won’t translate for you. Google translate became my best friend. And using the translator really helped a lot. One thing that is really useful is closed captions. That can be really huge. Because a lot gets lost when people are speaking super fast. So, it is hard to follow along.

The other thing that is available but can be hard because of our accents is dictation software. With my accent, the software doesn’t understand, and it takes forever to go back and edit the transcript. But the benefit is that as I’m going through the transcript, it gives me a chance to really organize my thoughts and unpack them. So, it takes longer, but it makes my work much better. I don’t recommend it for everybody, though, because it can be really frustrating.

Do you think there are specific subjects or class formats that are better for ESL students?

It depends on how people learn. If people are visual learners, they are going to have a really hard time with lecture-based classes. Also, it can be hard to listen, take notes, and understand all at the same time if you’re translating into English. I think classes that are multimodal are easier because it helps you experience language in different ways. You can see a PowerPoint, a movie, or have a discussion, and it makes it harder to tune out. You get to see how language works in all these different ways.I also really liked the professors who used document cameras to show us how to write and edit. Then you can actually see it instead of just being told something is wrong.

How did you care for yourself and protect yourself mentally, emotionally, and intellectually when you experienced discrimination as an ESL student?

When I was in grad school, I did not have the tools. I just felt like a failure. Now, if I need to cry, I cry. And then, I make a list of the most important feedback people have given me. I just go objectively through it to see if it is constructive or if it comes from a place of xenophobia.

For ESL students who are in grad school or applying to grad school, get a therapist. Academia is not easy. And there are a lot of other things besides being an English language learner that you’ll have to deal with. It is important to have a coach, therapist, or someone whom you can go to and talk about the dynamics you are experiencing.

Also, go to office hours and ask for help. That is a form of self-care because you are actually getting guidance. And those relationships can take you very far.

The last thing I would say in terms of self-care is to move your body. People don’t realize that sitting at a desk, reading, writing, and not moving your body actually causes serious problems for you later. The stress it causes can really harm you.

Is there any other advice you’d like to share?

I think if you are applying to graduate schools, have someone proofread your essays. Because sometimes, the admissions committee people will disqualify you because of your writing. They’ll say you won’t be able to understand the courses. Even if that means hiring an editor to help you, it is really important to ensure your personal statement is professional and written in a way that will resonate with people more.