International Students: Challenges of Adjustment to University Life in the U.S.

Murat Tas


Learning a new culture and learning in a new culture which may have different beliefs and values can be difficult. Even though international students are subject to the same stresses of academic and personal life as their U.S. counterparts, these stresses are compounded by being in an unfamiliar culture and surrounded by challenges of communication and language.  Language is the most frequently reported barrier to adjusting to U.S. university life, followed by financial difficulties and problems adapting to the culture. In the U.S., the university strategy should include both international and multicultural themes and reflect the great diversity of ethnic, racial, and national groups. Educators must encompass both the U.S. and international students in promoting understanding about diversity--commonalities as well as differences, strengths as well as weaknesses, and values as well as practices.  The cultural diversity of the U.S. society can be used to appreciate and understand diversity in the world (Scott, 1994).


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