Once again, we are at the start of a new academic year. As record numbers of international students arrive onto US campuses, I am reminded of how tenuous a time it is for so many students. Arriving in a new country without family, finding and setting up home, becoming functional in a new culture and establishing a foothold in our academic setting — wow! Below, please find a blog I wrote last Fall for the staff and faculty members who may encounter these international students. I hope this piece will help refocus us on the unique needs of these international students. Thank you for all you do!
I’ve had the opportunity to take part in Orientations and Acculturation programs at various universities in the last month. I always admire the young cross-cultural pioneers I meet on campuses, ready to step forward. More so, I am touched by their feedback about my talks, where they can make sense of their struggles, know that they are very normal and that at the end of this confusing period, is personal growth and success. I want to take this moment to highlight these students’ situations and to offer suggestions to enable the smoothest possible acculturation for international students.
RECOMMENDATION FOR SUPPORT
HELPING PIONEERS IN THEIR JOURNEY
These international students are, indeed, pioneers, entering into lands unknown. They are among the best students from around the world, who have chosen to come upon our shores to further their studies, their careers and their lives. May we, who have journeyed before them, guide them so that they can find their footing to walk strongly and confidently into their future.