BU First Class

During August 2016, Global Programs launched an online noncredit pre arrival course designed to prepare incoming international students for the transition to BU and the American classroom. BU First Class is delivered on the edX platform Edge and is comprised of short videos, polls, and self-checks designed to be completed from anywhere on any device.

Below is a summary of each Section and a sample video.


Section 1. The BU Classroom

This section asks students to think critically about the education system or systems they grew up in and compare it with what will be asked of them at BU. After completing this section, students should have a better idea of what to expect in a variety of classroom settings and should be more comfortable interacting with BU professors and understanding how they will be assessed.

Watch: The American Way of Learning

Section 2. Academic Integrity and Expectations

This section is primarily composed of a series of videos and self-checks introducing Boston University’s Academic Conduct Code, discussing academic integrity, what plagiarism is and how to use BU Libraries for research.

Watch: Introduction to Academic Integrity

Section 3. International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)

This section is primarily composed of a series of videos and self-checks introducing how the ISSO will support you during your time at BU, how to maintain your immigration status, types of employment available to J-1 and F-1 students and tips to aid your entry into the U.S.

Watch: What to Expect at the Port of Entry

Section 4. Transition to Campus

This section is broken into separate sections for Undergraduates and Graduate students, with content unique to each population. Information included in the section that is common to both populations is introductions to Student Health Services, the Compass for International Students and Scholars.

Watch: Introduction to the Compass


To Experience the Course:

  1. Email Kamelia Turcotte at kameliat@bu.edu to be registered in the course
  2. Go to edge.edx.org
  3. Create an account using the same email address you provided Kamelia
  4. The course should then show up on your dashboard under “My Courses” as “BU First Class”
  5. Click on the course name
  6. Once you are in the course, click the “Course” tab