The Guide For International Students To Transferring To A US University

The Guide For International Students To Transferring To A U.S. University

All levels of education in the USA work on the principle of academic integrity. Students must approach their work conscientiously, write it themselves, and format all borrowed pieces into quotations. Suppose you take information from the Internet and paste it into your essay without citing it. In that case, college activity may accuse you of plagiarism, that is, trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own. It is regarded as theft. The consequences of being caught plagiarizing will be severe: from an unsatisfactory grade in the exam to expulsion.

The Problem of Academic Integrity

The biggest challenge for foreign students of International American Universities is that The perception of the principles of an honest and responsible attitude to learning depends on the cultural background. In many countries, students value obtaining a diploma more than quality training and deep knowledge.

Experts highlight five types of this phenomenon:

  1. Appropriating or reproducing another person’s ideas, words, or statements without proper credit.
  2. Falsification of data, links, or any other information related to the academic process.
  3. Providing false information to a teacher or colleagues, such as giving a wrong reason for missing class or falsely stating that work was turned in.
  4. Any attempt to use external assistance without appropriate permission or recognition of the use of this assistance.
  5. These are actions to prevent others from doing their jobs or to stop them from doing their jobs entirely. Such activities include tearing pages out of library books or interrupting other people’s experiments.

So, why is this concept so important, and what does it include? It is a set of values and principles that promote personal integrity in learning and assessment. It can also be interpreted as worthy behavior when performing written tests, exams, essays, research, and presentations. Dishonest actions during learning harm the development of a student’s personality. Most people are so used to this that they do not pay attention to this problem and try to ignore it.

Various Aspects of Understanding Academic Integrity in US Colleges

Integrity is a specific set of rules of human behavior in an academic environment. It provides, first, the moral, and only secondly, the legal components of regulating this behavior during educational or research tasks. But sometimes, this concept is expand into a general behavior system during education.

The practice of different universities allows to interpret this concept differently, and very often, the issue of academic integrity is reduced only to individual manifestations. It mainly concerns plagiarism. In general, academic integrity is a broader concept. It usually includes, firstly, plagiarism; secondly, fraud, cheating, that is, the use of prohibited technical means, for example, earphones.

Academic dishonesty includes forging signatures in grade books or other documents. And besides, this is the fabrication of the results of scientific research, facts used in the educational process, and the like. This area also includes the so-called rewriting, that is, rewriting someone else’s ideas and results in your own words.

It should be noted that different universities in the USA have different attitudes towards rewriting. After all, on the one hand, the person did some work, did not copy the text, and, therefore, did not formally violate anything. On the other hand, if this concerns scientific research, the researcher does not contribute anything by rewriting someone else’s ideas. The work has no scientific novelty, meaning it cannot be consider scientific.

In addition, the inclusion in the list of authors of an article or monograph of persons who did not participate in the research and obtaining specific results is also an element of the range of issues within the scope of academic honesty, or, in this case, academic dishonesty.

And one more aspect that is worth mentioning. There are two sides to the issue of academic integrity. The first is plagiarism as an offense. It is essentially a copyright violation. There is a legal responsibility for this because someone is appropriating someone else’s property – someone’s work, research results, or something else.

But we often do not discuss the legal consequences of such attribution. Still, about the moral and ethical ones, that is, condemning the person who resorted to such actions and denouncing such behavior, which the academic community recognizes as shameful. So, the second component is moral and ethical. It is more than violating intellectual property rights or copyrights. Although, of course, these things are interconnect. Typically, universities in the United States adopt honor codes based on moral rather than legal principles.

Punishment for Students

In America, there are different approaches to punishment for detected cases of dishonesty. And here, university autonomy is very well realize. That is, each American university has its system of sanctions and penalties. Generally speaking, there are several types of such punishments. If a teacher notices that a student has shown some dishonesty, they can have a conversation with the student, reminding them of the inadmissibility of such actions.

It could also be a complaint to special departments and commissions – similar to our department’s educational department for educational work. There are people there who maintain the student database. They make a note that this person has already broken the principles. It, of course, is not so much a punishment as a preventive measure.

The next punishment might involve filing a complaint to the department that established a commission to review the work, such as an essay or coursework, to determine if any violations occurred. If such violations exist, students may experience various sanctions, including expulsion from the university.

There are, of course, purely preventive measures. It could be disseminating information about wine on the university website in the university press. It is already an appeal to a person’s conscience. If this happens again, the universities do not agree with this, and recurrences of such things lead to the student’s expulsion.

As for researchers, then, of course, there are fewer manifestations of dishonesty among them. But, if this happens, it can result in dismissal from work or removal from a research project. Therefore, the student should carefully read the policies of the chosen college and follow the rules laid down.

Prevention Methods

Once admitted to a US university, students can participate in special courses dedicated to integrity issues. Sometimes, these courses are make mandatory. Many American colleges have special centers where students can make an appointment with a specialist and ask for advice. University staff and mentors provide feedback on the student’s work and help resolve controversial issues.

In addition, implementing certain practices can help eliminate the possibility of cheating:

  1. Self-control. Students should be taught early on to control themselves and their activities, not to allow cheating, and not to cheat themselves. Mahatma Gandhi said: “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”
  2. Increasing the number of options with tasks. For a test, independent, and control work, it is necessary to give out not several options with tasks, as is customary, but as many options as there are students in the class. It will deprive the student of the opportunity to cheat and will facilitate the independent completion of a particular task.
  3. Depriving a student of the opportunity to cheat. Increased monitoring of students during exams. Installing video cameras in each classroom, blocking mobile phones, etc.
  4. Replacement of test tasks with oral ones. When the teacher replaces test tasks with oral ones, the need to copy will disappear.
  5. Regular conversations with students. Preventive discussions with students raise awareness and draw attention to essential learning issues. It increases influence by communicating the repercussions of dishonest actions and how they will impact students’ futures.

Thus, working with students aims to increase their consciousness and reduce the likelihood of cheating. Such measures allow US universities to achieve excellent results and become global education models. At the same time, students transfer an ethical attitude towards other people’s work to subsequent career and research activities.


Academic integrity is the key to a quality education and receiving well-deserved grades. Thus, students become highly qualified specialists. Therefore, following principles for students helps you get a good education in the USA and allows you to become a professional in your field. If you plan to enroll at an American university, carefully read the information on its website and become familiar with the institution’s policy on this matter. And, of course, try to achieve everything on your own, and not by borrowing other people’s ideas.