Where do you go to study / Tips for finals

#DearWorld is a blog series that our international student ambassadors share their experience, tips, and advice to other students at DU and around the world.

As Week 9 is already here and we are very close to finals, we would like to share with you a blog post by Chris Chen talking about his favorite places to study and tips for exams. If you find this interesting, please share it with other people that can benefit from our content!

Dear World,

As a first-year student at the Daniels College of Business – University of Denver, I am very excited to be on this beautiful campus. College life can be fun, but to me, academics is the most important part. I am always busy with my school work, group assignments, and projects. Different from the semester system that I experienced my high school, DU operates under a quarter system that makes my schedule compact. To be able to be academically successful at DU, I have to stay very focused when I study and
work very hard to manage my time and. Looking for good places and resources to help me to concentrate on my work is very important. After living on campus for a year so far, I have found many ideal places and some hidden corners around DU to sit down and do my homework. In this blog, I will share with some of my to-go places and tips to help you prepare for your finals.

Places to study

There are many great places on DU campus to study. The library, Anderson Academic Commons, for example, can accommodate group sessions and discussions, provide well-equipped private rooms and beautiful quiet study spots. The friendly librarians are very supportive and always willing to help you find the books or documents you need. The Writing Center is a go-to place for international students. Every time I need help with an essay for a class or a resume for my internship search, I can just simply make an appointment online or even walk-in to polish my writing.

Anderson Academic Commons main floor – University of Denver
A quiet room for study at Anderson Academic Commons – University of Denver
A study group at DU

Anderson Academic Commons at the University of Denver

Many people find themselves more productive at a coffee shop. If that is you, you should check out Beans Coffee on campus. The place is run by two DU students in Korbel School of International Studies. Beans Coffee is my favorite because its price is very reasonable, the atmosphere is very friendly and cozy, and obviously, the coffee is delicious. I often run into my friends there and we study together. Studying with a friend actually helps me understand the materials better and faster. Another reason why I like going to the Beans is that it hosts the quarterly Global Cafe event where international and domestic students can connect and share cultures, food and drinks. Attending the event, I found out that there are many other domestic students are curious about my hometown and culture. Sharing my stories with them actually lessens my homesickness and makes me feel welcomed at DU.

Beans Coffee at the University of Denver
Study space at Beans Coffee at the University of Denver

Another favorite place of mine is Sturm Halls, which I consider as a hidden gem. Not many of my friends in my program come here to study because Sturm Halls is known as a building for DU law college. But it actually opens to everyone. Sturm Hall has a large and place to hang out and study. Students usually focus on their reading and writing so much that creates a very inspiring atmosphere and makes me concentrate even more.

Besides the library and coffee shops, Sturm Halls lower floor has a large space for students to hang out and study. Mary Reed halls have a small library that has a phenomenon environment. And DU beautiful green lawns is a great place for you to set up hammocks, enjoy the sun and read a book when the weather is warm.

DU Students can rent a hammock from the library
There are many chairs on DU campus for students to hang out and study

Final Tips

As I mentioned above, DU has a quarter system which is ten weeks long. In my first quarter, midterms came in really fast. Then in a blink of an eye, it’s finals! It may sound stressful but in fact, it helps me a lot in actually learning the materials. Don’t be stressed. Here are my resources to help you succeed in school.

First of all, mark your calendar. After knowing the exact dates and times of the exams and assignment deadlines, you should put it in your planner. This will show you a bigger picture of what the quarter looks like so you will have a better idea on how to plan your study and other activities.

Second of all, don’t forget to read your classes’ syllabi. It is the hidden treasure that most students do not pay attention to. The syllabus tells you the weight of each assignment and professors’ expectations. That way, you know you included everything your professor requires on your final project, test, or paper.

Thirdly, talk to your professors. If you are confused about any of the material, go to the professor’s office hours, or just email them and make an appointment. DU professors are willing to help you to solve problems and guide you to help you understand the course materials.

Last but not least, take care of yourself. A good mentality and physical preparedness are also very important. Eat and sleep well before the exams, take vitamins if necessary. Trust yourself that you can do a great job!

Also, my friend Dareen shared some of her tips on how to be successful at DU. Check it out! It might provide you different perspectives of college life as an international student here at DU.

I am an international student ambassador at DU. If you have any other questions regarding places to study, tips for finals, or college life in general at DU, please sign up for our Student to Student program or send an email to intladm4@du.edu. Look forward to connecting with you!


International Student

Author: Chris Chen

Editors: Anh Chip Pham & Grace Sullivan

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