International College Students: Challenges and Solutions

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Attending college is one of the best ways to learn from others. While you can research and learn about different cultures, the best way to understand diversity is by meeting new people and studying with them. Learning with international students offers a personal and interactive experience. It’s one of the most important parts of education. However, it’s not usually discussed.

The life of an international student is not a walk in the park. International students experience challenges in different areas such as academics, language barriers, discrimination, cultural differences, mental health issues, and financial stressors. These are not simple problems to solve. However, they can be solved by education experts. Let’s discuss more them.

Photo by Armin Rimoldi / Pexels

Language barriers

  • Difficulty in conversing with others: Most international students know how to communicate in English. However, they might not be familiar with the slang that their peers and tutors speak. For instance, they may have a hard time using prepositions. This can make it harder for them to converse in English.
  • Hesitating to ask for clarification: Most international students hesitate to ask their colleagues and tutors for clarification out of fear or insecurity. When they fail to understand various concepts quickly, they might be viewed negatively by their professors or colleagues. And this leads to low self-esteem.

Study challenges

  • Writing assignments: In most instances, international students are not familiar with conducting extensive research or writing academic assignments in a foreign country. As an international student seeking help from NerdyWriters will help you save time and energy. Most nations are different from the US in that they favor memorization more than personalized interpretation of study materials.
  • Classroom issues: The time and energy spent on classroom discussions might not positively affect international students who don’t speak English fluently. The discussion format that colleges across the world use are different. What’s correct in a particular college is wrong in another college. In most cultures, it’s considered a lack of respect to counter a tutor’s opinion. However, in the US, students are allowed to debate with their tutors. In some nations, your performance will be determined by your final exams. And in others, it is determined by your participation in class and how you use office hours. Students who seek coursework help from tutors after classes tend to get better grades. In some nations, students avoid approaching their tutors during office hours due to respect.

Social and cultural issues

  • Social isolation: Most international students miss their home countries because they are not able to return frequently unlike other students who frequently visit their homes. Apart from that, time zone differences make it difficult for them to converse with their friends and loved ones. International students go to college with few possessions. And this means that their dorms or apartments will be less personalized. They feel like outsiders who share few common activities with their mates. Apart from that, their holidays are not usually acknowledged and they might have attachments to the holidays celebrated in a foreign country. Since they are far away from friends and family, they’ll naturally avoid social situations.
  • Culture shock:  In most cases, international students are not ready for the culture in foreign nations. Some of the things that they might be uncomfortable with include relationships with professors, consuming alcohol in social settings, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Discrimination

  • Racism: International students can feel like outsiders and marginalized in social and class settings. Those who aren’t fluent in the native language of the foreign country can be perceived as intellectually challenged.
  • Stereotyping: In most instances, international students are usually misunderstood due to their native culture. For instance, in America, students are not usually exposed to a clear understanding of other cultures. American students might not be aware of the stereotypes of cultures they encounter every day.

Solutions

  • Access resources: There are a lot of resources in college that can help international students navigate the academic world in a foreign country. Colleges usually have EssayGeeks and advisors to help students with work-study, mental health issues, and service-learning to name a few. International students can help in changing the school culture.
  • Communicate with other international students: Sharing your experiences with others and discussing solutions to the problems you are facing with your colleagues can help you achieve your academic goals. There are lots of formal and informal groups made up of residents from a particular country that you can join.
  • Seek support from family: Most international students have reported that emotional support from their loved ones is important for their health and well-being. Whenever you feel tired and bored, you should communicate with your loved ones.
  • Respect everyone: As the popularly saying goes, respect is mutual. You need to respect other students if you want to be respected. Avoid judging others based on their cultural or financial difference.

Conclusion

Every student will enjoy studying in a college that is welcoming and inclusive. Meeting new people and getting to know them will help you achieve your goals and live happily.

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