Stress in International Students

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

A research conducted by University World News in 2012 showed that the United States of America receives the highest number of students from foreign countries (Lee 2017). It topped the list with a nineteen percent of international students while Japan came last with four percent. The United States and United Kingdom are considered due to their expertise in English, a language that is widely recognized in most countries across the world. Although Japan comes last globally, it tops the list on the leading providers of international education in Asia (Lee 2017). The increase in the number of students seeking education in foreign countries has contributed to the rise in the stressful conditions they face. However, international students experience many stressful challenges. The reasons why the international students are stressed is homesickness, language barrier, culture illness, acculturation stress, among others (Jiaqi Li, Aretha Faye Marbley, Loretta J.

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Bradley, and William Lan. The feeling of being away from home separated from friends and families affects their learning ability, language problems and many more. The symptoms of stress among the international students include troubling sleep and irritability. For instance, having one on one interviews helped him assess the fluency of the Japanese language acquired by the four students. Language barrier is among the main challenges international students face. Conducting the research in a Japanese university helped Lee come up with clear findings and explanations relating to the main challenges faced by international students. Being in a Japanese university, every student is supposed to be familiar with the Japanese language and culture. For instance, one of the students in Lee’s research article is a Brazilian.

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Most of the information was acquired through interviews. The students were Asian and others came from the Eastern countries. Most students that travel abroad for studies end up experiencing cultural challenges. Research shows that the international students should acquire all the cultural experiences in their host countries and add it to their original culture. This helps them have successful interactions with other people in school and in future. The new students express a feeling of helplessness which makes the local students afraid of approaching them. Most interviews stated that they went through the culture shock phase with a lot of difficulties. The lack of positive reinforcement around the international students makes the main contribution to culture shock. Most students made it to the transitional phase where, students identify their interests and create methodologies to handle the challenges.

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Since the Asian and eastern countries cultures differ most students on the study devised individualistic methodologies that would help them fit in the British culture. Language Barrier According to George Bernard Shaw, biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place. This easily illustrate one of the major challenges faced by international students. Language barrier is not only to be based on proper writing in this discipline. It is also supposed to be based on mastery of the language in both speech coherency and understanding of all information passed in the said language. In reference to Sondra Smith Major: Mental Health Counseling, knowledge of the main language spoken in the host country plays a vital role in the learning process.

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Here is a brief summary of the year 2009 results: 67% of under graduates in Canada, 62% of undergraduates in the United Kingdom, 43% of undergraduates in Australia, and 13% of undergraduates in the United States. A research conducted by Ju Seong Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (2017) gives an example of a Chinese woman aged 27. Her name is Liu, born and educated in China. In the year 2014 Liu decides to go to Japan and study the Japanese language. For the first month, Liu says she is challenged due to the Japanese language and culture. Since, it plays a crucial role in relaying information and regulation of students’ cognitive processes (Jiaqi Li, Aretha Faye Marbley, Loretta J. Bradley, and William Lan. The ability to evaluate the communication capability of a student is important in measuring the performance ability of students.

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Fluency of communication is used to determine how fast an individual integrate into a new culture and reduction of stress related to the problems that students face as they try to blend into the mainstream society of their new environment. Language proficiency assists in the process of acculturation. The students do not have self-confidence which is a crucial aspect of acquiring new language; being in constant communication and interaction with the local student’s boosts their ability to learn new language and their academic development (Christine J. Yeh, And Mayuko Inose. People gain confidence in speaking new language when they can communicate in the language in the presence of other people and makes mistakes without feeling intimidated. Conversely, international students with a good mastery of English language easily interact with the local students increase their ability to learn and achieve their educational objectives compared to those who have poor understanding of the same (Feba Thomas, and N.

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Sumathi G. Understanding language is essential in communicating with class members and understanding the concepts of course materials which are core to achieving the objectives of education. Moreover, international students are less likely to seek psychological attention from help centers due to lack of familiarity with the counseling psychological services, the stigma associated with cultural symptoms as well as the cultural beliefs (Feba Thomas, and N. Sumathi G. The counseling service involves direct communication to identify problems that affect such students, but such students do not have the correct language to express what they are experiencing in their lives. Conversely, culture also contributes to stress experienced by international students, the conflicting cultures of the students and the host culture prevents the effectiveness of achieving education objectives.

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Students undergoing marginalization are at risks of contracting extreme psychological maladjustment (Edwin Gómez, Alfredo Urzúa, and Chris R. Glass. International students may decide to integrate into the larger cultural set up of the host country; the strategy is characterized by reduced risks and acceptance into the larger society. The none-acceptance in the dominant culture and the confusion of living in two cultures may make bring confusion among children; they are likely to be subjected to identity conflict. The students experience initial difficulty in the host language and culture, making them stay in groups of their nationality and culture due to difficulty to conform to the mainstream culture (Edwin Gómez, Alfredo Urzúa, and Chris R. Culture Shock Students travel abroad mostly not for the purpose of cultural integration but so as to learn for a short period of time, gain experience, go back to their homes and exercise the new gained wisdom.

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This expectation is not usually met. This is as a result of cultural integration. Cultural integration can be positive life changing thing, it can create a new sense of awareness and liberation. But it can also have negative impacts. Accepting a new way of life, different currency and a loss of identity may develop into a senses of depression. International student are further pressured if they learn of a disaster in the home country that everyone at home is being secretive about. This may make the student fear for the worst. According to Benjamin-Triana, a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky USA, international studies were started after world war two. This form of education was fostered to ensure cohesion and piece in the world.

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Most of the students came from a different academic program from their various nationalities. Therefore, they experience unfamiliar academic environment with totally different ways of doing things. They take a long time trying to fit in the new system (Jiaqi Li, Aretha Faye Marbley, Loretta J. Bradley, and William Lan. This affects their contribution to the class activities subjecting them to stressing condition. However, they do not find it smooth in their quest for education in the foreign countries. The students undergo serious stressful conditions that interfere with their ability to learn. Language barrier is the main challenge that faces international students. They find it difficult to master course content taught with foreign language. They experience psychological stress trying to learn a new language and study at the same time.

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