What are the issues facing international students?

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International students face particular challenges...

  1. Try not to think of yourself as an international student -- you are an ordinary graduate student like anyone else, so take advantage of all opportunities as anyone else would.
  2. Acclimate yourself early in the program by spending less time taking classes and more time getting confidants and acculturating into your new situations. Then, after you have developed a comfort level with the new environment, immerse yourself in classes to take full advantage of your new school.
  3. Learn the culture of your new surroundings by attending many social gatherings and events. Don't be intimated by the cultural boundaries because your colleagues are just as interested in getting to know you as you are in getting to know them.
  4. Some faculty members may not be sympathetic to the unique situations faced by international students, and others may not be completely aware of all the challenges faced by international students, so its your job to communicate this information so that they ARE aware of your situation.
  5. Never doubt that you are intelligent - just because your grades or your output level may not be what you expect initially, I have seen a consistent and sharp learning curve among my fellow international students. Once we have adapted to the new environment, we excel, so never doubt yourself.
  6. Don't lose contact with your contacts from your home country because you have the opportunity to conduct cross-cultural research both in the new country in which you currently reside and also your home country. In fact, your contacts in your home country are a valuable resources that other colleagues will want to utilize. Use this to your advantage.
  7. I've found that when learning a new language, watching tv is an excellent way to acquire the new language, especially with the "captions" turned on so that you can see the exact word associated with each sound.
  8. Grad school for international students can be a great adventure! If you have the curiosity and enthusiasm, you will find how exciting being an international student can be.
  9. Sometimes International students try so hard to blend in, that they forget the main purpose here, to gain knowledge, and sharpen the intelligence. It is easy to get lost in the new society, but keep in mind, the main purpose of your university stay. To master the graduate studies.

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