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9 Challenges International Students Face

The idea of going abroad for studies and becoming an international student is attractive but the experience itself can be a little overwhelming. It is important to be mentally prepared before you decide to move, so read ahead to familiarize yourself with 9 challenges international students face.

Inadequate English Proficiency 

An integral part of being a good student is your proficiency in the English Language. Not only will this impact your social life but also your academic experience. The lectures will be impossible for you to understand if you cannot understand what the professor is saying.

Separation from Family and Friends 

It is natural for international students to feel homesick when they are in the process of settling in. However, if you are someone who is emotionally attached to the comfort of your homeland and has a difficult time adapting to a new lifestyle, homesickness can take a toll on you. Often, students develop depression and anxiety due to separation from family and old friends.

Unfamiliarity with North American Culture 

Statistics show that international students made up 5.5% of the total US student body in the academic year 2019.  However, international students, especially those coming from Asia may not be familiar with western culture, art, religion, and lifestyle. The absence of familiar culture may be distressing for new international students.

Cultural Shock, Food, and Norms

International students will realize that the way people interact with each other, the food, the slangs, and basic mannerism of people around them majorly differs from that of their homeland. If one wants to acquire the full benefit of their time abroad, they must learn to adapt to the new environment without compromising their own culture and value. This can be a challenging task indeed.

Lack of Appropriate Skills or Strategies 

Your time as an international student transforms you into an independent person however managing part-time work with studies is not easy. Being able to multitask is a key skill required for all international students. Socializing, managing grades, and earning at the same time requires a certain level of skill strategy.

Academic Learning Anxiety 

Adjusting to the new method of teaching and education system is also a challenge for international students. Reading and writing in English can especially be difficult if it was not the language in which you studied at home.

Low Social Self Efficacy 

A generally studious, and confident student can have low social self-efficacy and find it difficult to initiate and maintain interpersonal relationships when they move to a completely new place. Things like accents and different physical appearances can hold international students back from making new friends and interacting with others.

Financial Difficulties 

Unless you are lucky enough to get a scholarship or financial aid, studying abroad is expensive. It is important to take into account your living expenditure and tuition fee before deciding to go abroad as a student.  

Going Back home 

After overcoming all the above-stated challenges when one has to move back home, it can be devastating. Adjusting to life back home can be much more difficult once your student visa expires and it is time to head back home.

However, don’t let these challenges stop you. Once you overcome these challenges studying abroad can be the highlight of your student life.