Studying abroad is a major life transition from home country to host country. It can also be both exhilarating and daunting! As an international student, you will find that living and studying in the United States can open a whole new world of life-enhancing experiences. You may discover many opportunities for professional and personal growth. You may also find that the cross-cultural transition process requires substantial readjustments, and these can often be stressful.
At first you may face a number of challenges as you adapt to being in a new culture. This may involve a loss of the familiar resources, supports and traditions that were available in your home countries. You may find yourself dealing with homesickness and depression as well as potential language barriers, stereotyping, and discrimination. All of these may affect your social and academic performance. In addition, like all college students, you may experience many other stresses including financial and relationships. If you are facing any stresses in your personal and academic endeavors, we want you to become familiar with the many resources that are available for you at Counseling Services.
We recognize that working effectively with international students requires counseling approaches that are sensitive to differing cultures. We also recognize there may be potential cultural barriers to help-seeking behaviors. For example, in some cultures people may turn mainly to trusted friends and family members for emotional support. These international students may be less likely to discuss personal information with strangers. There may also be some perceived stigmas and misunderstandings associated with "mental health," which could lead a student to avoid seeking counseling. We want to dispel that myth and let you know it is perfectly okay to seek help when you are experiencing psychological distress or feeling stuck. It is neither a sign of personal weakness nor sickness. Many students take advantage of our services to help with personal challenges that are a normal part of life. Receiving counseling may also help support your academic goals. You may improve your confidence as well as learn highly effective coping skills and strategies that you can utilize in all areas of your life.
Our faculty and staff at Counseling Services are caring and compassionate. We are highly trained in multicultural issues and very respectful of different cultures and perspectives. We are here to help both undergraduate and graduate international students to be personally and academically successful and to make the most of their study abroad experiences. In addition to individual counseling sessions, weekly support groups are offered at both Counseling Services (see Groups) and Intensive English Language Center.
We believe that having students from abroad enriches our global campus community. Welcome aboard!