Never in the world of education has it been more important for universities to nurture the international students. The student experience is crucial for retention and interest. After the closure of schools in 2020 due to the pandemic, the international student situation is critical at best.
Not to mention, the world is becoming more competitive in terms of offering such education. This is good for students who have more choices, but it’s not ideal for the countries where all of it started. Students are still more likely to choose popular international study destinations like London or some universities in the US, but there are many countries that now increase the inward mobility by offering bigger scholarship and lower tuition fees.
In this kind of moment and situation, it’s important for all educational institutions who accept international students to change their approach. Student experience needs to be set a priority.
Many academic institutions these days are employing different methods to help international students adjust and settle in. Such methods range from buddy schemes to on-campus services. A lot of effort has been put on determining the level of student satisfaction, both in domestic and international students. For example, iGraduate with the help of Warwick created the Global Education Profiler, a tool that measures internationalization and integration in the educational system.
Let’s face it – last year was tough on international students. The pandemic altered their role on campus and forced many students to pack their bags and leave. Governments started worrying about the financial losses due to their international students leaving, while students added yet another issue to their list of problems.
Let’s have a look at some of the issues these students face today.
How Will I Adjust to Online Learning?
This also brought on a whole set of challenges for students that left to go home. They had to adjust to new study methods and online learning, which prevented them from building a connection to the new school and environment even before this began.
What If I Cannot Write My Assignment?
Assignments are the biggest burden for an international student. Not only do they need to adjust to a new environment where they don’t know anyone, but they also need to study for exams and write an essay almost on a regular basis. Whether you study at a college online or in a different country, you’ll be asking yourself the question: how will I ever write my assignment on time? Thankfully, you can go to a professional writing service and say: write me an assignment fast. This is the ideal solution used by thousands of international students across the globe.
Universities Help International Students Adjust
The educational system and institutions in it have a lot on their plate, but this is no excuse for making international students basically invisible. Some of the campuses allowed their international students to remain in the dorms instead of going back home. But, many of them felt abandoned.
Some academic institutions put great effort into helping their international students adjust. For example, the University of Wisconsin worked closely with students during the pandemic by holding virtual meetings and coffee hours, all to make sure that students keep their visa status.
This certainly made the students feel safer about their educational situation.
Another great way to help international students adjust is to offer optional training that allows them to adjust to the new environment and, if they don’t speak the language, learn it faster.
It takes a lot of effort and mutual work to assist these students and help them feel at home. Starting from financial assistance to communication with other students and help on behalf of instructors, it takes very little from everyone included to achieve this.
For example, since the dorms are open even though some colleges and universities aren’t, why not allow students to stay there at a lower cost and therefore be closer to the instructors in case they need help? Not to mention, international students need networks of social support now more than ever. They should have affordable or free mental health access, quality meals, and access to the materials they need to study.
The year has just started and so far, both the students and schools fear that they won’t be able to rejoin in the months that follow. This makes it more important than ever to build a stronger connection and communicate with these students. Many universities have already established some processes to make student advising available for these students. This is the starting point of a fruitful educational connection between countries.
|About the Author –
Julius Sim is the head of the support team at EduBirdie, a company that helps students achieve their academic goals. Sim holds a degree in Marketing and Communications and has worked in customer service for over 5 years now. She works side by side with writers, editors, and support professionals that assist students in meeting deadlines for their hardest assignments.