RIT provides plenty of resources which you should definitely take advantage of. There is always a resource to use or someone to go to for every query you may have.
Here is a list of some important resources that every international student should know about:
1. International Student Services (ISS)
ISS advises international students on immigration, cultural, academic, and personal matters. If you have questions regarding your visa, I-20, employment guidelines, or anything and everything related to your stay in the US as an international student, they are people you should approach. You can either email them or you can always stop by their office which is on the 2nd floor of the SAU (Student Alumni Union) building.
PROFESSORS AND FACULTY
One of my favorite things about RIT is its faculty and staff. You can easily meet up with your professor as all professors have office hours. If office hours don't work for you, can always email them. I've had professors that go further and allow students to call or text them for help. One of my professors this semester came every Saturday just to help students and teach the ones interested to learn above and beyond the class. So, do not hesitate to approach your professors, teaching assistants, or academic advisors if you have any course/major related difficulty.
Talk to the seniors in your program and make friends with them! Ask them about class related issues or doubts. Nobody will give you feedback on course related topics better than them as they have already been through it. I have always consulted my seniors before choosing classes and professors for the upcoming semester.
The Wallace Library is a great resource and has so many different services/resources that it offers. There are great study spaces available on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors, and you can even rent a private study room. For all the art and design students, if you need to learn Photoshop or any other software/topic for class, the Library has Lynda.com susbcriptions. You can also rent out Macs/Windows laptops from the library. These have a 4 hour loan period and can be taken out of the building. There are also graphic calculators, HDMI cables, laptop locks and whiteboard supplies available for loan. Visit the library to find out about other resources; they might have something of use to you!
ACADEMIC AND PROGRAM CHAIR
Your department head or academic advisor will help you with any queries related to classes, your major, or possible minor. As a freshman you do have to check in with them, and they all have office hours where you can drop by to ask questions.
If you do not know who your academic advisor or department head is, follow the steps below:
1. Go to this website- https://sis.rit.edu/info/welcome.do
2. Under the box titled STUDENTS press Student information systems
3. Log in using your RIT username and password
4.Scroll down on the page and on right you will find a box titled ADVISERS. Under that you will find name and contact info of your department head and academic adviser.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT CENTER (ASC), TUTORS AND STUDY CENTERS
If you are lagging behind in any of your classes, don't be afraid to ask for help! There are a lot of academic tutors and support groups available on campus.
UNIVERSITY WRITING COMMONS
Need help with writing a research paper or an essay for class?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE CENTER
The ELC offers academic English courses at all levels for students whose first language is not English.
OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES AND COOPERATIVE EDUCATION
Many students have asked me, "Will RIT help me find a co-op?" The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education offer services such as counseling, workshops, mock interviews, etc. to help students prepare for career fairs and interviews. Hundreds of employers across the country come at the RIT career fairs, which are held during the spring and fall to recruit interns and full-time workers from RIT. Also certain majors, such as packaging science, art, and design, have their own career fairs.
RIT provides free shuttle service for students with regularly scheduled stops at all RIT apartment complexes, Rrsidence halls, NTID, Barnes & Noble, Park Point, The Province, and academic areas throughout the school year. The weekend shuttle takes you to the shopping/entertainment/food places off campus such as Wegmans, Target, Wal-Mart, Marketplace Mall, Southtown Plaza, etc.
Regional Transport Service is a public bus that runs in Rochester. Route 24 is the bus that stops at RIT and goes to Marketplace Mall, Wegmans grocery store, etc. It costs $1 each way.
RTS even has an app to track the bus: RTS Where's My Bus? App http://www.myrts.com/
American Railroad service
GREYHOUND AND MEGABUS
The bus is a great way to travel to nearby cities. Toronto and New York are around 5-6 hours away from Rochester by bus. Greyhound and Megabus are two good bus companies. Both bus rides are equally comfortable and I have used both to travel to Toronto multiple times. The only difference between them is that Greyhound is more expensive, and offers designated bus stations. If you book your ticket well in advance, a bus ride through Megabus to Toronto can cost as low as $5.
Student Government at RIT offers a break bus service for winter and spring breaks. They provide free rides for students to the airport, Amtrak station, and bus station!
RIT BIKESHARE PROGRAM
This is a free service by RIT Student Government for students to rent bikes for 24 hours.
FRIEND WITH A CAR
Many students have cars on campus. A lot of students are willing to give rides for a little gas money. Or you can always ask a friend who has car for a ride.
4. Personal health and development
RIT COUNSELING CENTER
Feeling excessive anxiety? Or feeling alone with nobody to talk to? Visit the counseling center for help.
STUDENT HEALTH CENTER
If you are ill, injured, or need a checkup, you can simply make an appointment with the Student Health Center.
Global Union is the largest multicultural student organization at RIT. It is a good way to get involved on campus and be part of an international community. You should look out for the various events they hold such as Cultural Bites and Unification.
RIT LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE & COMMUNITY SERVICES CENTER
The RIT Leadership office provides a variety of free leadership training and certificates. There are free workshops, conferences and retreats all year long to help you develop as a student leader.
RESIDENT ASSISTANTS (RAs)
RAs are usually upperclassmen who reside in the residence halls and are there to support and help you. They usually know about all important resources and services on campus and are super helpful if you run into roommate conflicts or coursework problems.
PEER ADVISOR LEADERS (PALs) /ORIENTATION LEADERS (OLs)/STUDENT AMBASSADORS Other than your RA, PALs, OAs, and Student Ambassadors are other support systems available to you on campus. PALs are current undergraduate/graduate, international/American students who volunteer to prepare for the arrival of all the new international students on the move-in day. PALs will be there when you arrive at the airport and will help you to get to the RIT campus. They will also be there to help you move into your room or apartment. Similarly, there are orientation assistants through the new student orientation program and student ambassadors (like me!) across departments who are here to help you.
STUDENT EMPLOYMENT OFFICE
International students are only allowed to work on-campus (except for the time they are on co-op or internships). There are paid on-campus jobs available for students interested in making a little money and engaging in learning. The RIT SEO will be your gateway to work. Most on-campus jobs are posted here (some jobs are also announced through emails, posters, and flyers on campus, so be on the lookout for that). If you are interested in working in a specific department or area on campus, you can always email that department expressing your interest and intent to work. This is how I got my job as an International Student Ambassador in the undergraduate admissions office!
6. Facebook Groups
Here are links to a few useful Facebook groups:
Don't be afraid to ask for help! These services and resources are all for you.