International Students Financial Issues in the US
The issue of foreign students or international students is increasing within U.S, especially at the level of university. According to Burdett and Crossman (2010), in the year 2007, there were approximately 35,433 international students registered in an educational institution within New York. As an initiative, CREPUQ commits in supporting efforts of government to locate NY as destination of high quality university studies. Their supports are devoted to creating support measures or strategies as Para academic components for success of students. Nonetheless, there are many challenges facing foreign students, which include, but not limited to language problems, funds problems, and cultural differences.
Financial pressure is a significant challenge faced by international students, particularly those not getting financial assistance and must fund tuitions as well as living expenses. Fee paid by foreign students to the universities is high, in comparison with fee paid by local students (Gunter, 2013). For example, UF tuition standard for foreign graduate students is 971.48 USD per credit hour, whereas Florida residents graduate students pay 341.29 USD for every credit (Montiel, 2009). Moreover, as many foreign students originate from advancing nations, the exchange rate of USD and their home currencies may be high. An amount to an American may be important to a foreign student that also implies that foreign students must cost a large fortune for studying within the United States of America if they never secure any financial help (Burdett & Crossman, 2010). Besides, foreign students are ineligible for loans except when they have legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen preferring to co-sign a loan and/or receive citizenship themselves.
Considering the financial pressure foreign students face, there are many potential solutions. Foreign students must consider feasible financial problems as well as assessing their capacities to fund their education overseas when planning to register and attend universities within the U.S (United States). Besides, it will be helpful if the society and universities could offer more scholarships as well as providing a broad range of employment opportunities for foreign students.
Visas Challenges that the Foreign students have when they Arrive to the US
Contrary to the U.S. citizens, foreign students having F-1 visas have limited or restricted permit campus as well as less than twenty hours in a week. Among the employment opportunities existing on campus, some of these opportunities are only accessible by students of FWSP (federal work-study program) that result in even limited employment opportunities for the international students. Limitations on foreign students leave few viable alternatives to them (Gunter, 2013). Earning money or working while schooling is difficult, or challenging for foreign students. In order to be eligible, applicants need proving and satisfying many strict criteria in an interview of F-1 visa. These criteria include having a foreign residence as well as must be intending to return upon completing studies. Moreover, can study within the academic body in which that visa was approved or granted, must have adequate financial support and must be having good ties with the home country, for instance, work offer letter after completing studies, bank accounts, family, and assets.
Home Challenges that the Foreign students have when they Arrive to the US
Culture shock is another problem facing international students in U.S. It grows from the difficulties of adapting to a novel culture. When foreign students are attempting to adapt in the U.S culture, many are shocked on the first encounter. Whenever people arrive in a foreign country speaking a different dialect, the first challenge met is likely the language. More often than not, international students may not converse as fluently in comparison with natives. Besides, these foreigners have hesitation in speaking out due to their poor language capability. In addition, it is challenging foreign students to fathom the underlying denotation of certain words (Burdett & Crossman, 2010). Therefore, come the gap in communication as well as lack of fathoming. Foreign students who are alien within a different setting would often feel helpless to set up the social networks similar to their home nations at first. In fact, foreign students always have limited social networks. Most aliens think or get difficulties in making new friends. Some foreign students can just hang out with students from their mother nations. The language struggles as well as inadequate adjustments have resulted in few foreign students actively indulging in students’ societies within the universities as well as other U.S social life.
Apart from the culture and language barriers, shyness of foreign students is another factor, which bars foreign students from being actively involved within U.S social life. At times, when finding U.S citizens discussing and roaming in their groups, foreign students think hard or challenging to catch up or socialize with them as well as awkward to join the conversations. Foreign students can have problems within classes on first arrival. Differences in culture present professional and personal challenges within academics (Nau, 2010). Issues of language are apparent. Due to language limitations or restrictions, it is difficult for foreign students to fathom what the instructors or professors want or say at the start, not to mention active participation within class discussions (Burdett & Crossman, 2010). Moreover, professors may be incapable to fathom the needs and wants of foreign students if they never speak out. The problem of language may as well indirectly raise workload burden for international or foreign students. For instance, if a U.S student may accomplish a book within an hour, a foreign student not speaking English within the mother country can use three hours to complete or finish (Gunter, 2013).
However, it is not an issue of proficiency in English language, emotional and intellectual boundaries are tested as well as study habits are challenged within a U.S. university (Montiel, 2009). Normally, foreign students are academic giants within their mother nation. It is a challenge for them when they can no longer lead or be regarded superior students within a foreign university. In reality, it is a challenge or easy for foreign students to be depressed if they no longer maintain the grades they normally or used to achieving (Burdett & Crossman, 2010).
Moreover, the cultures of education vary from nation to nation. For instance, universities within the U.S. are focused or value class support in comparison with other nations. The way foreign students study may be inappropriate for studying within U.S. Besides, the educational technique or approach within the U.S can be unfamiliar to foreign students be accustomed to getting more guidance, as well as assistance from instructors. International students can be incapable of knowing how to locate as well as use information to complete their purposes (Gunter, 2013). Foreign students require help to overcome challenges from linguistic and cultural differences and improve their academic excellence. Nonetheless, when they have problems within their classes, they can be incapable to know the causes of academic troubles as well as where to seek help. The interest remains whether universities are able to offer foreign students adequate assistance and the attention needed for adjusting within a foreign land. The appropriate way of addressing these issues or challenges is to request universities, students, and teachers to take the duty of advancing intercultural fathoming as well as pay attention to foreign students (Nau, 2010).
Culture shock experienced by foreign students may be addressed when these students find individuals to interact with and at all cost avoiding isolating themselves. They must become friendly and smile with others irrespective of where they originate. Foreign students should be open to the world through taking interest in other students, and change their focus from self to the outside globe (Gunter, 2013). They must attempt to locate some associations, as well as organizations for foreign students within the campus. Share with knowledgeable members of the global community (Montiel, 2009). Experienced individuals have gone through some of the problems and can provide support as well as advice. Foreign students should seek from experienced people what assisted them the most, as well as what they have gone through with difficulty. The ICU (International Center in Universities), for instance, International Center at UF have often host programs, in which students may associate, know more persons, interact with local families, or certain social events during the year. Such events can connect these students to community members willing to converse with them (Gunter, 2013).
Adjusting to a unique culture whereas maintaining own identity is significant regarding cross-cultural differences. Cross-cultural adaptation and integration imply adjusting to the novel culture and at the same time maintaining own identity or personality. Extremes of entirely giving up own culture or rejecting anything concerning the unique culture as well as clinging to old styles are unhealthy (Nau, 2010). It is significant for foreign students to understand cultural differences as well as modifying the behaviors, which are required to live contentedly within the new culture (Gunter, 2013). Moreover, addressing cross-cultural differences needs foreign students to find activities organized by the universities. The primary responsibility for the incorporation lies with the foreign students and universities (Montiel, 2009). Services from the universities should exist as well as a supporting framework in place, which can allow foreign students to be indulged within campus life as well as being active within social life. In addition, universities must make efforts to develop events that foreign students may join as well as interact with others (Nau, 2010).
International students have trouble with new assignments. In college courses, students are graded in several ways: on tests, class participation, and papers. For international students doing research as well as citing sources within written assignments may be particularly tough challenge (Montiel, 2009). It takes these students a term in working on by themselves and with others in the RWC (Reading-Writing Center) to obtain a good grade (Nau, 2010). Besides, international students have troubles with new professors. Many university professors within the U.S. prefer learning to be an interactive, collaborative experience, as well as promote participation from students within the class as well as throughout their office hours. For foreign students from academic settings with hands-off tutors, being capable of approaching members of the faculty is a cultural alteration (Montiel, 2009).
International students have troubles with new subjects. Many universities and colleges need students to take many general educational classes, irrespective of their majors, in an effort of exposing students to a broad range of subjects (Obeng-Odoom, 2012). This may be a surprise to foreign students expecting to take, for instance, engineering or business courses within the college. Foreign students also have troubles with new friends. Life of college is not limited or restricted to the classroom. A larger part of experience in college occurs after course, needless to say, for foreign students, socially interacting and integrating may be a hurdle (Montiel, 2009). These students have problems building relationships as well as accepting people the first one or two weeks (Nau, 2010).
New food is another problem faced by international students. In U.S, it is a tradition or trend known that the weight gain is common among new university students not accustomed to meals at buffets. Foreign students, adjusting to a new food within unlimited quantities may be particularly challenging. Additionally, foreign students face job problem. To address the high fee of university tuition, many learners should secure an employment. Juggling an employment, 15-18 credits, and at times a sports team or club is a chore. A number of students attempt to cram activities within a day, and suffers expending sleeping time. Without adequate sleep, the student may then be susceptible to different forms of health problems (Obeng-Odoom, 2012).
The solution to these challenges facing international students is prioritizing schedule events, meetings, studies, and games accordingly. In addition, a university student should be aware of their alternatives when getting an employment. Many times the college will provide jobs to students, which are flexible as well as fit within the program of student.
Homesickness is another challenge for international students. Regardless whether these students admit it, most students at one point in time get homesick. It is common among students who attend school, which is more than three hours from their mother countries (Nau, 2010). Homesickness affects freshman because it is presumably first year from motherland nation, and many freshmen are not permitted to own a car on their first year in the university (Obeng-Odoom, 2012). If the students stays in three to four hours from motherland nation they may plan to visit their home maybe once in a month or two. Emails, phone calls and care packages to and from family members and friends may greatly help in lowering feelings of homesickness (Nau, 2010).
Depression is another problem faced by most students. These troubles increase the stress degrees of students. Some of them find relief by partying, while others find themselves being depressed from their challenges or problems. Whenever high stress degrees, as well as depression, are a concern, it is best handled by seeking professional attention. Many campuses for the benefit of depressed students offer free counseling programs, and counselors are willing to assist students be back on track. This never implies partying has to stop, provided the students are partying legally and responsibly (Obeng-Odoom, 2012).
Foreign students face problems of health condition or sickness. With the increased levels of stress as well as inadequate sleep, health problems may occur or experienced. Living within close quarters within dorms also exposes potential health risks as well as increases chances of students contracting some virus or illness (Nau, 2010). To avert health problems college students must eat healthy as well as balanced food. It is also significant for students to have adequate night sleep. Keeping bathrooms, hands, doorknobs as well as shared spaces clean helps in reducing the risks or vulnerability of students to be sick. If health issues and sickness do develop, campuses must have a physician on standby to offer medical help and advice (Obeng-Odoom, 2012).
There are partying problems. Partying in reality is not a challenge. Parties are organized so that attendees may have time to relax (Delgado-Romero & Wu, 2010). Nonetheless, many parties organized within colleges currently have the probability of causing problems. Currently, in parties’ drugs, sex, and alcohol rule the night or parties. Alcohol may result in drunkenness as well as potentially deadly conditions. Unprotected sex may spread diseases among students at unexpected rates (Obeng-Odoom, 2012). Whereas parties are intended to give students a good time, students must plan to enjoy in a legal and responsible way to guarantee that they never create problems or troubles for themselves or others. An internet search on drunk driving turns up pictures as well as news articles that never require to be repeated.
Choosing a major is also a problem to the students. Many students go through stress while choosing a major. More often than not, students believe that their selected major will dictate their prospective career as well as the amount of money or future jobs. College majors have significance, though they never chisel future wages or careers in stone. Students must choose what they are good in or like doing. In circumstances students are not sure of what major to select, they must select something versatile and broad, for instance, degree in communications. Some students who have graduated with Bachelor's degree within the field have continued to pursue Master's degree in a different field. It is not worth worrying, which field to major, however, worrying concerning gaining life skills and knowledge during university education is (Delgado-Romero & Wu, 2010).
In summary, there are many challenges that foreign students undergo. It upon the U.S. government and the students to work together in getting mutual solutions to these problems. The solutions should be found without necessarily stopping student education.
Burdett, J., & Crossman, J. (2010). "Checking the pulse": The international student experience and social engagement across Australian universities: reflecting on AUQA feedback to Cycle 2 reports.
Delgado-Romero, E. A., & Wu, Y. (2010). Asian International Students in Counseling Programs: A Group Intervention to Promote Social Justice. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 4(1), 3-5.
Gunter, F. R. (2013). The political economy of Iraq: Restoring balance in a post-conflict society. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Montiel, P. J. (2009). International Macroeconomics. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.
Nau, H. R. (2010). International relations in perspective: A reader. Washington, D.C: CQ Press.
Obeng-Odoom, F. (2012). Far away from home: the housing question and international students in Australia. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 1(6), 5-7.