The Academic Resource Centerʼs lobby.

Making it into NYU Shanghai is an accomplishment. But you might be wondering how youʼll perform academically once you are here. For Chinese students, the transition to an English learning environment can be difficult. For international students, mastery of the Chinese language can be challenging. But don’t panic; no matter which course you need help in, the Academic Resource Center (ARC) is here to help!

Located on the 5th floor, the ARC is where students come for all kinds of academic support. Here, students develop skill sets and strategies to help them become confident, independent, and active learners. Our Global Writing and Speaking Fellows as well as learning assistants are ready to assist you—no matter the subject. 

A Student entering the ARC at NYU Shanghai.
“I already knew about the ARC services before I came to NYU Shanghai. It’s part of the reason I chose this school.” —Guo Zhiqing, ’23

The number of Global Writing and Speaking Fellows at the Academic Resource Center changes every year. This year it has grown to a team of 17 fellows. Our fellows cover a wide range of academic skills, but they typically help students develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. 

Structuring and brainstorming an essay around a specific topic can be difficult, let alone writing in a language that is not your first. Don’t worry—you can come work with a fellow at any stage of your writing process. They can help you understand an assignment prompt, brainstorm ideas, and make outlines. Theyʼll also provide you with feedback on essay drafts, help you polish your writing, and walk you through a research process.

“Good writers think like a reader. I think that’s one of the most important skills that I’m trying to cultivate in my students.” —Liu Zixia, Senior Global Writing and Speaking Fellow

In addition, you can sign up for listening, speaking, and reading skills workshops and academic coaching sessions with our fellows. They can help you practice your analytical skills to better understand course texts. Need support pulling out the core concepts from the lecture? Stop by the ARC to practice listening and note-taking. Have an upcoming class presentation? Our fellows can help you prepare! To schedule a 45-minute one-on-one consultation session, go to the ARC’s website to make an appointment.

“A lot of students will come in quite nervous to give class presentations whether English is their native language or not. So we work with them on how to have confidence expressing their ideas while standing in front of their peers.” —Reilly Torres, Senior Global Writing and Speaking Fellow

Many Chinese students are intimidated by the amount and scope of reading that comes with Global Perspectives on Society (GPS). In this first-year, one-semester humanities foundational course, students tackle canonical texts from the history of thought—from Plato to Simone de Beauvoir—and write papers relating the material to topics of identity, nationality, and globalization.

Facilitated by fellows, the ARC’s weekly GPS study group is a great place to start developing close reading, brainstorming, mind-mapping, and note-taking strategies. These are all important for nurturing students’ critical thinking ability. These study groups are based on peer discussion and lecture note review. They’ll help you dive more deeply into GPS course materials and recitation. And if you are looking for more, there are course-specific writing workshops to better support you.

The ARC’s workshops go beyond only one course. Find ongoing workshops on a broad range of topics, from writing and academic reading to test preparation and time management.

A window in the Academic Resource Center.

The Academic Resource Center also has a large array of learning assistants (LAs), or NYU Shanghai student tutors, who have excelled in many non-writing courses. So, if you would like help with a specific course, you can make an appointment with them.

LAs work closely with faculty and ARC staff to support student success. They provide individual and small group tutoring in over 30 courses. These range from science, technology, engineering, and math courses to business, language, and interactive media arts courses. 

Learning assistants’ information at the NYU Shanghai ARC.

In the computer science domain, there is a group of 10 to 20 LAs—each responsible for different classes. For instance, LAs hold an Introduction to Computer Programming course and recitation. As students work on their coding, LAs will walk around the classroom and see if anyone needs help. All international students are welcome to visit the Chinese LAs’ office hours. Once you come, you’ll find out that Chinese is not as challenging as you may think.

“Chinese learning assistants provided me with a lot of resources. They helped me to understand more of the homework. By talking to a Chinese learning assistant, I was able to pick up some small conversational Chinese.” —Aishya Elysia, ’23

Booking an appointment with LAs will help you solve very specific, course-related questions. Tutoring sessions are the best way to engage more deeply with your course content. In addition, as peers, LAs may better understand your concerns and questions.

The ARC at NYU Shanghai is a very collaborative, community-driven space where fellows, LAs, and staff all collaborate to make academia less scary and a bit more fun. 

If you ever encounter any questions related to your studies, please don’t hesitate to visit the ARC. They have all the resources you need to help you become a better writer, a more critical thinker, and an overall more rounded college student. 

Welcome to the ARC at NYU Shanghai!

Yida Ma is a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at NYU Shanghai, mainly working with Chinese applicants. She has spent most of her career in Shanghai, but lived and worked in New York for three years. Besides seeking and recruiting excellent students across China, she loves playing with other people’s cats, watching HGTV, and riding indoors with Zwift. She is originally from Xi’an, which is famous for its terracotta warriors, as well as its famous foods.