How to Catch Up with Classes as an International Student

Does being unable to catch up with classes make you worry? If so, this blog is for you to know how to attend classes with confidence. How I personally do each of the contents will be explained below.

List of Contents

  • Pre-study
  • Asking Classmates
  • Post-study
A Picture I Took When Studied Outside to Change the Environment


As a student with English as a second language, studying beforehand helped me to understand the class properly and prepare questions to ask during classes. The main thing I do before a class is to check every single English word I do not know on lecture slides. The biggest reason I was not able to understand a lecture was often the academic language used in classes. Also, pre-study allows me to take lectures and seminars effectively. That is because sections that are complex or new become clear while doing pre-study and you can know when to concentrate fully (e.g. lecture slides you could not understand by yourself). By doing this, I found myself remembering the contents of lectures more naturally.

Asking Classmates

Not many people might bring asking classmates as a way to catch up with classes. However, this is one of the things I benefited from. There are people with different English skills, so some people miss important information even with full intention during lectures. I always try to pay full attention to a lecturer, but I also once realised that I had been missing one piece of information about an assignment. The way I noticed that was talking to my classmates about the assignment. Therefore, confirming what is told in a class with peers is one of the great ways to catch up with classes, and that can allow you to make new friends to help each other as well.


One of the biggest benefits for me as a University of Surrey student is having access to recordings of lectures. Hence, I often use the recordings after class to understand the sections I could not understand even with pre-study. To do that, I highlight such sections/lecture slides and the time of the lecture when I do not understand clearly so that I can smoothly find what section to watch for review.

However, if such sections can be solved by asking the lecturer, doing so is recommended as you can ask follow-up questions. Additionally, the action of communicating will more likely let the information stay in your memory.

Thank you very much for reading this far. I hope you will have a lovely day.