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How to Survive Your First Semester (As a Transfer Student)

As a transfer student you have a limited number of days to make the best of what the University of Texas has to offer. In order to make the most of your time at UT it’s important to achieve academic success, get involved in a range of social activities and discover all the perks of living in Austin. As a transfer student myself, these tips have helped me to survive my first semester as a longhorn.


Get the Grades You Want

Do: Study more than you have to! With the daily excitement that comes with being a student at UT, it can be difficult to make time to study on a regular basis. At least for the first round of tests, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.   

Don’t: Expect your classes to be exactly parallel to the classes you took at your previous institution. Because UT is one of the biggest schools in the country, your first semester classes will most likely be in huge lecture halls. With this style of classes comes the difficulties of dealing with TAs and potentially impersonal professors.

Do: If possible, try to take one smaller class a semester. Smaller classes allow you to develop relationships with your professors. Even if they aren’t necessarily professors in your major, developing relationships in these smaller classes will make it easier to receive strong letters of recommendation.    

Social Stuff

Do: As a transfer student there are a variety of ways to get involved in the university through social organizations, academic clubs or even in intramurals. During your first semester at UT, challenge yourself to apply to a club you know you’ll love or maybe use these clubs to try something new!

Don’t: Spend too much time on 6th Street. Although a night at 6th street can result in some great memories, there are so many other cool places to spend your Thursday nights in Austin. Rather than spending every night of your first semester at the same places on 6th, check out a restaurant featuring local music or maybe spend your night on the water midnight paddle boarding.

Make the Most of Austin

Do: Explore the Austin area! With its live music scene, top notch restaurants and gorgeous weather you have no reason to be bored in Austin.

Don’t: Let your time exploring Austin keep you from spending time at university events. UT offers student movie nights, key note speakers and athletic events weekly.  


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