Advice for Transfer Students
10 Helpful Hints for Transfers
Transferring to the University at Albany is an exciting opportunity. There are many resources available to you that can make this a smooth and fun transition. However, as with any big change, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for new issues and challenges that you may face along the way. Below are some tips to help you stay focused and take advantage of everything UA has to offer!
- Know your way around. It’s tempting as a transfer student to blow off those campus tours, student involvement fairs, residence hall meetings, etc. in your first few weeks on campus. After all, you’ve been through it all before. And if you’re commuting, it’s easy to avoid large parts of campus altogether. But this is the best time to get to know not just the physical layout of the campus, but also the resources that are offered at UA! Get out there: explore parts of campus that you’ve never seen before, find out where the Academic Support Services office is, or check out your advisor’s office. You never know what you might learn.
- Get to know your professors. Our faculty members are very accessible to their students. All professors have office hours, and they truly want you to use them. Getting to know faculty will also help you become more confident in class—once you know more about your material and instructor, it may not be difficult to raise your hand in that large lecture hall!
- Study smart. Different school environments often call for different study strategies. Don’t be afraid to change the way you study, if your old methods don’t work. For example, if you swore by highlighting your texts at your last school, but find that it isn’t working here—change! There are numerous ways to study for any one course. Don’t get stuck in a rut, just out of habit—change how you are studying and make it work for you.
- Find a mentor. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes! They can be professors, your academic advisor, a tutor, an RA, or even just another student that has been here longer than you. Making that connection with someone on campus can help you keep things in perspective while you transition. They can give you realistic advice from an outside perspective, and they are there to answer your questions whenever you need them. Not only that, but if you ever need recommendations after graduation, faculty and staff who mentored you are great resources!
- Stay on top of paperwork issues with campus offices. This includes Financial Aid, housing applications, sending in transfer credit transcripts, etc. The sooner issues like these are taken care of, the easier your transition will be.
- Learn about the library. (http://library.albany.edu/) You were probably familiar with the library at your last school. However, UAlbany has 3 libraries with more than 2 million book volumes. In addition, they have computer access, electronic journal resources, a test prep center for graduate exams, and much more. And of course, they provide many great places to study.
- Know about the advising/registration system. Every school has a different system of advising and registration. Don’t assume that things will run the same as your last school. All registration at UAlbany takes place on MyUAlbany (www.albany.edu/myualbany). In addition, before you register each semester, you MUST meet with your academic advisor to get your AVN (Advisor Verification Number). Not sure who your advisor is? Log on to MyUAlbany and click the “View My Advisors” link for their name and contact information. And of course, check in with your advisor for more than just registration purposes! They are a great resource.
- Get involved. A key to being successful on campus is finding your niche. Transitioning to the University is that much easier if you have an organization, club, or team that you can call your own. UAlbany has a long list of activities for you to choose from, from club sports and honor societies, to Greek life and student government. You’ll be amazed how much better you become at time management when you have a group that you are involved with!
- Check your email. All UAlbany students are expected to check their Albany.edu email address frequently. All major offices on campus (Financial Aid, Advisement Services, Registrar, etc.) will use this address to contact you primarily. Don’t miss out on important messages!
- Be proactive. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do, or what the rules are. It’s important to ask questions and act on your behalf when needed. This was probably true at your last institution, but it’s especially important on a campus of this size. Read through your academic requirements in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Look at the academic calendar so that you know when the last day to drop a class is…or when midterms start. The only way to really be invested in your education is to be informed about it.
But most of all, have fun, and take advantage of the wide variety of opportunities that UAlbany has to offer!
Please send questions or comments about this site to:
The Transfer Experience Coordinator