The recruitment of international students is an increasingly competitive worldwide business. An article written by Poyrazli (2006), “Marital status, ethnicity, academic achievement, and adjustment strains: the case of graduate international students” states, “higher education institutions generate over $12 billion annually for the American economy through international student spending on housing, tuition and living expenses” (p. 773).There are a variety of common difficulties associated with international students attending American universities which include: financial pressures, home sickness, and language barriers.
Previous studies have shown that financial pressures are the leading source of anxiety amongst international students. Tuition and housing are expenses that all foreign students must face during the transition to a new country. Higher education institutions all over the nation must be willing to address these concerns immediately. A diverse and multicultural student body has the ability to strengthen the educational environment and prosperity of an institution. The successful integration of international students within a campus creates economical and educational benefits for the student and university.
Financial aid offices and academic advisors need to maintain steady contact with all international students to assist with their integration into a new environment. Many foreign students do not know anyone in America, and are unfamiliar with the educational system and application process for scholarships, grants and other financial awards. They are on tight budgets which limit their ability to participate in extracurricular activities. Many foreign exchange students also have strict deadlines of when they must return to their native homeland. International students should not be blamed for their unfamiliarity with our educational system. Instead, their lack of knowledge allows universities the opportunity to reach out and make a meaningful connection with new students.
One research article, “Supervision Practices for Foreign Graduate Research Students” written by Abiddin (2007), states, “research findings reveal that the reasons why students are unable to complete their studies within the time given are due to lack of supervision, commitment and language barriers” (p. 369). If a First-year international student is struggling academically, financially and socially, the chance of he/she dropping out before completing a degree increases significantly. Freshman international students benefit from constant interaction with an advisor or counselor. Utilizing these professionals is an ideal way for students to feel accepted within a community and become aware of other activities and professional experiences a campus has to offer.
Poyrazli, S. & Kavanaugh, P.R. (2006). Marital status, ethnicity, academic achievement, and
adjustment strains: the case of graduate international students. College Student Journal. 40, 767-780.
Abiddin, N. (2007). Supervision practices for foreign graduate research students. American
Journal of Applied Sciences. 4, 362-370.