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Some of my college classmates and I will be studying for one semester at a foreign university in Belgium. To give context, we are Italian Erasmus students on an exchange program traveling to a foreign country that speaks Dutch/Flemish, although the classes will be partially or fully in English.

I would like to know if you think it’s a good idea to send an email to each professor of the courses we’ll be taking a few weeks in advance with the goals of

  • introducing ourselves
  • establishing a direct line and open of communication
  • asking if there’s anything we should review before classes start
  • saying we’re very happy to attend their course and look forward to learning from everyone
  • making sure they are aware of our arrival and therefore possibly prepare English material for us

Do you think this a good idea or should we just present ourselves on the first day of classes? Should I send it myself or cc my classmates? I just want to make sure this is going to be a great experience for everyone.

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My advice is: Do not do this if you just want to introduce yourself or establish a line of communication. For those purposes, just talk to the professor in or after class or leave it all together -- just like the professor wants.

If you have more practical reasons (like if you need to review someth.), do this before and per email. (I'm assuming here that you read all inform. about the courses and do not ask about information posted e.g online.)

If you think there is a chance the courses could not be in English, I would also advice you to ask beforehand. (If the program is advertisted as being in English, I think you should not ask.)

If you send something, I would advice to speak with your classmates and send it together with them (in all their names, after they agree). This advoids you to be seen as a social weirdo who secretly wants to get advantages - after all, the information is important for everyone and you want everyone to have a great experience.

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