From the Caribbean to Latin America, to the Eastern hemisphere of the world, international students come from all over to attend college in the good ol’ U.S.A.
International students often face many different types of adversity while attending college in the states.
Adjusting to American Customs.
Many of the international students may face the challenge of not being able to adjust to “American customs.”
Many international students may have a hard time fitting in because their own customs may go against those of the American culture.
Types of foods, traditions or even language could set students apart from the rest of the campus population.
If you or someone you know is an international student, one way to ease them into American customs is by getting them involved. Campus organizations are a great way for anyone to make friends and to become active on campus.
Being Picked On
Many international students have to face bigotry from others who are threatened by what’s different or what they don’t understand.
Some people can’t be helped; they’re just natural-born bullies who are stuck in their ignorant ways.
As far as the rest of the population is concerned, teaching people what they don’t understand can be quite enlightening and help bridge the gap between what people don’t understand and the person trying to be understood.
Taking the time to be a tour guide or “buddy” for an international student can help them to fit in easier and feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. If you make the effort to get to know someone and help them acclimate, you will not only be helping them, but you will make a new friend, too.
One of the biggest challenges international students face is feeling homesick. It’s completely natural for college students to miss their home, however, for international students, being homesick is taken to the next level.
Calling or visiting home may be really tough for an international student; the bills associated with pricey phone calls or expensive plane rides can keep these students from being able to communicate with or see their families. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how hard that would be for you and offer your friendship to him/her as a way to make your new friend feel more secure.
Thank goodness for modern technology such as Facebook and Skype. But even that may not be enough to stay in contact with family or friends due to time differences, etc.
Again, this goes back to getting involved. International students should get involved and create a tight-knit circle of friends to help fill the void of missing their family and friends from home.
International students are some of the brightest students attending college, however, fitting in may not come natural to them. We’ve all been the new kid at some point or another so why not offer a helping hand to someone who needs a friend?