Brand new environments can impact international students both academically and socially. An article by U.S. News & World Report discusses the importance for international students to know what support is available as they adjust to both new schools and new countries.
Some universities offer this information to their prospective students before they arrive on campus. For instance, certain colleges are required to complete a mandatory online orientation that explains issues common to international students, such as cross-cultural adjustments and the stress that follows. It is important for students to realize that they have resources to help them when they feel out of place, or just need someone to talk to.
Take a look at what experts suggest as different options for international students to reach out and adjust to new surroundings.
1. Join a social club or community group.
Joining a club or an organization on campus is a great way to meet new friends, acclimate to a new community and minimize the changes of isolation. Being a part of an organization allows students to connect to others who share the same major, hobbies or culture.
2. Consider meditation or prayer.
Many universities offer places on campus for students to relax and pray or meditate. For instance, the University of Kentucky offers a Relaxation Room that is available for all students to come and go as they please. Director of the Counseling Center, Mary Bolin, says that the room was created several years ago “to ease access for students who may be hesitant to receive help.” Whether that was due to social stigma or even being unfamiliar with the health support services that are available on campus.
3. Explore counseling services.
Many colleges worldwide have counseling resources for their students free of charge. According to Cornell University, about 20 percent of their students utilized the school’s counseling services. International students can benefit from even requesting counselors from their own ethnic backgrounds.
Emotional and physical well-being are some of the most important things in life, and they should be considered a priority, especially during the transition into a new chapter of life. It’s imperative for students to take things one day at a time, be conscious of the resources that are available and realize that it’s okay to ask for help!
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education has experienced a wave of unexpected challenges. From campus closures and remote learning to COVID-19 testing