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International College Students: Challenges and Solutions – Psychology Today

Our conversations are sprinkled with slips, pauses, lies, and clues to our inner world. Here’s what we reveal when we speak, whether we mean to or not.
Verified by Psychology Today
Posted February 12, 2022 | Reviewed by Vanessa Lancaster
co-authored by Mireya Nadal-Vincens
College campuses are an ideal place to learn from others. While we can read about different cultures, there is no better way to truly understand their rich diversity than by living and studying together. Learning from international students is personal and interactive. It is often an important part of a college education but not often discussed.
Being an international student is not always easy. International students can experience challenges in several areas, including language barriers, academics, social and cultural differences, discrimination, financial stressors, and mental health concerns. These are not easy problems to overcome but can be tackled by the education community.
Language Barriers
Academic Challenges
Social and Cultural Differences
Discrimination
It would be a great addition to our secondary and college educational curricula if students from other countries and cultures could talk about their native traditions, holidays, religions, foods, clothing, and family relationships. Sharing personal narratives is probably the best way for students to appreciate and respect cultural differences through conversations with their peers.
Financial Difficulties
Psychological Difficulties
Seek Family Support. Most international students report that emotional support from their families at home is most helpful. There are also opportunities for support from family members living in the U.S. and homestay families.
All students benefit from a campus that is welcoming to international students. It is a mutual responsibility to help foster inclusion and make campuses a place where everyone feels accepted. Above all, getting to know individuals from other parts of the world is enriching and fun.
A version of this post was published by the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Eugene Beresin, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
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Psychology Today © 2022 Sussex Publishers, LLC
Our conversations are sprinkled with slips, pauses, lies, and clues to our inner world. Here’s what we reveal when we speak, whether we mean to or not.

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