The admission of International students to universities in the United States has rampantly increased in the recent past. These students migrate from countries that are either English speaking or non- English speaking. Despite the intellectual and financial gains they bring about, they are faced with several challenges both inside and outside the class (Hanson and Zambito 1).
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These challenges range from language barriers, cultural differences and interaction with others among other factors all of which affect their learning to a great extent. As for my case, the biggest challenge has been that of understanding definitions and terminologies used in most of the psychology classes. Many times, the definitions used are difficult to understand.
More so, the teachers and students speak too fast. This makes me feel insufficient in my understanding of most of the terminology used. On the contrast, the natives seem to be more familiar with the contemporary psychological theories and apply the concepts with more ease than us the immigrants. Also, native students have a more comprehensive understanding of statistical methods.
This makes international students have to keep on asking a lot of questions to get these concepts and ideas. It would be of great help if lecturers offered definitions to some of the terminologies used. Lack of social support makes it even more difficult for international students to study effectively. At times, the lecturers do not understand them thus brushing off their questions alleging that they do not understand their language.
It is also challenging to get fellow students to explain since they speak too fast and may be biased against foreigners. This language barrier impacts on reading time, understanding in lectures, intellectual capacity, conferences, and group work. A lot of assistance is therefore required in essay writing for international students to enable them to hand over good assignments as well as to express their understanding during research.
Additionally, there are cultural biases that do not affect the curriculum per se but influence the relationship between teachers and fellow students (Hanson and Zambito 1). Being an international student, I feel that native students relate better and quickly with the tutors unlike us. As a result, they are better placed to express their views and ask questions for better understanding.
Cultural differences also serve as a significant distraction and discomfort zone to the international students making it difficult for them to interact freely. As an international student, I have encountered problems regarding approaches to learning and teaching. A lot of work in the curriculum is based on assignments and assessments that call for intricate easy writing, documents that are well formatted, and not being sure of where to hand in the work.
It is challenging to complete essays before tutorials with no clear marking criteria, little guidance, demanding essay titles and delayed feedback on coursework. However, I would say that this has been aggravated by the language barrier factor. At the same time, it is challenging to comprehend APA terminology, plagiarism and SPSS in addition to finding research participants and supervisors.
Other than the common issues regarding classes, I have also been experiencing high room temperatures, especially in the mathematics class. This can be attributed to a large number of students attending these classes causing the room to be fully packed yet it has fewer ventilation outlets. All in all, to overcome all these problems a lot of social support, is required from both the lecturers and students themselves.
Hanson, Lea and Zambito, Jill. The Troubles Facing International Students Today. 2003. Web.