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The Method that is Helping Foreign Students to Adopt Faster

June 08, 2015 - Posted to Study

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Landing on the “shores” of a foreign country, in order to pursue a university education, presents huge challenges for the international student. At a time when they are learning to become independent young adults, they must also adjust to a foreign culture while trying to maintain their own identities, mores, and traditions. This is a “tall order” for these young people, and they should be applauded for accepting such huge challenges.

 

Hurdles Faced by Foreign Students

  1. Emotional: It is not uncommon for students to experience homesickness, frustration, anxiety and even depression as they move through the process of adapting.
  2. New Living Environment: Housing, weather, and food may be vastly different. A student who has left southern India for the first time will find winter in Berlin rather harsh; a student who is a vegetarian may find woefully few options with the dorm meal plan, unless s/he wants to live on cereal and salads for four years.
  3. Language: While most students have a basic speaking and writing proficiency in the languages of their host countries, the scholarly language in lectures and textbook readings is something else altogether; and the expectations for writing are quite high.
  4. Cultural Shock: Being totally immersed in a different culture all at once is a shock, and it takes time to understand all of the verbal and non-verbal nuances, the interactions among people, the uses of formal and informal languages, and the general lifestyles of young adults in the host country.
  5. Academic: School is difficult enough for native speakers of a language; and it is even more so for those students for whom the language is a second one. While technology assists somewhat, digital translators are not that good and certainly cannot be used to write an essay or paper. As well, they do not learn how people study in different cultures, and so may not be familiar with study groups, library facilities and use, etc.

 

Methods for Making the Adaptation Easier and Faster

  1. Campus Organizations: Most medium-to-large sized universities the world over have international student organizations that provide a wide variety of services to foreign students, so that they can navigate through their new “life” easily, especially during the first few months. As well, there are student-run international clubs for support and social activities.
  2. Finding a Professional Writing Service: Expectations for scholarly writing are quite high and foreign students are at a clear dis-advantage. Many of them have found their solutions through the use of a comprehensive writing service that can provide them with successful essay writing tips, provide editing and proofreading services, and, in general, help them develop solid essay writing skills by having model essays and paper to emulate. When a foreign student says to one of these services, “help me with my essay,” s/he will get a personal researcher/writer to provide as much assistance as necessary.
  3. Developing Reading Skills: the amount of reading required at the university level is often overwhelming for native students, and it is even worse for foreign students. Improving reading skills, then, becomes critical. Amazingly, some students have actually improved significantly by choosing to develop the speed reading skill through online programs. They claim that they are actually improving their vocabulary and their basic reading through such courses!
  4. Getting One Native Friend: Many foreign students state that even one friend who is a native of the host country can ease the social and cultural transition/adaptation significantly. Perhaps campus international student clubs can foster this by encouraging native students to join their clubs, so that those friendships may develop.
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