International students add invaluable perspectives and should be celebrated for their contributions, but they face many barriers that schools need to address in order to ensure their success.
International students often face academic and social issues related to language barriers that inhibit their studies, including feeling disconnected from classmates or missing home countries/families. Institutions should strive to assist these international students by offering various support services that aid in acclimation.
Students often struggle to adjust to new social norms, including more casual lifestyle choices or political beliefs they find unfamiliar as they try to adapt to their surroundings. Furthermore, discrimination or difficulties expressing their ideas in class may arise which lead to isolation and depression; to help combat this effect universities should make an effort to introduce students to their cultural heritage and celebrate individual differences.
While most international students receive financial aid from their governments, some are unable to secure employment in the US and need additional income sources. Universities should work with local employers and create programs such as internships or part-time positions specifically designed for international students; furthermore they should encourage these students to utilize online resources that match them up with potential employers looking for international workers.
When students participate less actively in class discussions, it’s important to recognize their intentions aren’t to be rude or disengaged; perhaps they need some time to process the question or their thoughts before responding, or may simply feel shy in large group settings. Giving them opportunities for brief reflection, small group or paired discussions, and alternative forms of class participation can all help improve participation rates in classes.