Expectations for International Students At Drury University

The community of faculty, staff and students supports DU’s international students. From the time you are accepted until the time you graduate, you will find a number of resources to aid you in your educational journey. The Office of International Student Services is the main, but not the only, support service available.

International Student Services (ISS): Support begins with pre-arrival information and guidance for students and their families. It continues through activities organized for international students as well as events that celebrate and raise awareness about different cultures on campus. The ISS office conducts an undergraduate international student orientation that will help new students become acquainted with other students, the university, the city, and prepare them to be successful in their new lives at Drury.

Counseling Services: Studying in the US, speaking and learning English, can be frustrating and exhausting, especially at the beginning of the semester. The International Student Handbook will help you understand the stages of adjusting to a new culture. The university’s Counseling Office is an important resource for international students: experienced professional counselors can help you overcome the normal temporary feelings of loneliness and loss of self-confidence.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP): All international students take the TOEFL during orientation and prior to registering for classes. Students who score at least a 480, but do not score a 530, the score needed to register for classes, may enroll in the EAP program, where they will take intensive English classes, study with a native-speaker as a tutor, and sit in on classes in the disciplines of their interest to learn vocabulary and improve listening proficiency needed to be successful in those classes.

The Drury CORE: All freshmen at DU take an intensive critical thinking Humanities course called the CORE that will prepare them for the expectations of engaged discourse at a liberal arts university. International students will take I-CORE classes designed especially for them, rich in documents of both the Western liberal tradition and the American experience. International students will also meet I-Alpha alumni, international students who are now sophomores, juniors and seniors through shared events during their semester in this class. Your CORE professor is also your academic advisor.

Both the International Student Handbook and the General Student Handbook, available online, represent some of the many resources at Drury University to help international students understand and navigate life at Drury and the American culture of Springfield, Missouri.

Studying at Drury University: Values common to American universities and U.S. cultural values that shape the academic environment:

  1. Active classroom participation is expected. Most professors encourage students to ask questions and to participate with comments during the class period. Often professors view a question as a sign of attentiveness; conversely, silence may be interpreted as either a lack of interest or of understanding.
  2. Presenting ideas concisely in class is expected.
  3. Classrooms reflect the value of equality of all persons.
  4. Freedom of expression is exercised in an environment of mutual respect.
  5. Informality is normal and related to the American ideal of equality.
  6. Individualism is a cultural value. Americans tend to see themselves as separate individuals, not as representatives of a family, community, or group.
  7. Competition is a common mind-set.
  8. Direct and straightforward communication is expected; to this end, any conduct or attire that is inhibitive of this value is not appropriate.
  9. Friendship is usually based on doing things in common—study groups, clubs, sports, etc.
  10. Time pressures are strong—often there are many small assignments due each week and time management is a crucial skill to develop.
  11. Critical thinking, a mental habit of asking questions and seeking reasons, must be developed.
  12. Independent thinking is highly valued.
  13. Assignments (reading, writing, homework, tests) are numerous and though working in groups is common, most assignments are expected to be completed independently and prior to class as preparation for class discussion.
  14. Achievement and hard work are highly valued.
  15. Students must be responsible for themselves.
  16. Combining theory and practice—the practical application of ideas—is emphasized.
  17. A problem-solving orientation is a normative value.
  18. The scientific method and the use of logical proof are emphasized academically.   

At Drury University we’re serious about our responsibility to offer international students the experience of a top-flight American private liberal arts university. From the Drury CORE through our graduate degrees, we offer learning experiences we believe students will not receive anywhere else, an experience we call “the Drury Difference.” But this kind of educational experience is a contract between the student and the university: in other words, the student is not a passive recipient of the educational experience, but an engaged participant with professors, staff, and other students in their education.

We encourage prospective international students to explore the Drury website for listings of clubs and organizations, fraternities, sororities, study abroad and athletic programs in which they may anticipate becoming involved with both Americans and students from all over the world. At DU, all students are expected to engage in campus events and organizations; international students are members of student government, clubs, and both competitive and inter-mural athletics. Why is participation important? A liberal arts education is both classroom-intensive and community-extensive.