1. Introduction 1
2. Definition of international students 1
3. The problems international students face in English speaking universities 1
3.1 Homesickness 2
3.2 English language difficulties 3
4. Solutions 4
4.1 Intervention programs 4
4.2 English language support 5
5. Conclusion 6
6. References 8
In these days, education has become the large service export in developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. This lead to a growing number of students travel abroad to pursue their higher education in English-speaking countries. It is identified that in order for international students to succeed in their academic study and for the host countries to continue to attract students from overseas, the emphasis in this report has been placed on the difficulties and problems encountered by international students. Because of the potential problems on international students, more investigation is needed. Thus, the purpose of this report is to analyze the problem international students face in English speaking universities and suggest some possible solutions. Firstly, this report will present a definition of international students. Secondly, the report outlines the problems of international students encounter in English speaking universities in particular the homesickness and English language difficulties. Finally, the report presents measures that can be taken to address the problems, which include social networks and English language support.
2. Definition of international students
International students are defined as individuals who are non-native English speakers (NNES), granted temporary student visas, and aim to study in colleges or universities for higher education (Andrade 2006, p. 134).
3. The problems international students face in English speaking universities
The two major issues which international students encounter in English speaking universities are homesickness and English language difficulties.
Homesickness is one of the major problems among international students in the world. Many researchers indicate that international students might experience maladaptation to a new environment, and this could lead them to miss family members and friends in their home countries (Kegel 2009, p. 67; Poyrazli & Lopez 2007, p. 272). According to Poyrazli and Lopez (2007, pp. 263-264), homesickness has some negative impacts for international students enrolled in the university atmosphere that are loneliness, sadness, and adjustment difficulties of learning life, and similarly, individuals’ behaviour, physical and psychological wellbeing have strong positive correlations with homesickness among Asian, African, and Latin American international students in the United States (Kegel 2009, pp. 72-73). Then, homesickness adversely impacts the academic achievement of international students, and this can influence students’ physical or mental wellbeing, such as eating and sleeping problems, feeling fatigue and headaches (Kegel 2009, p. 72). Fisher and Hood (cited in Poyrazli and Lopez 2007, p. 264) similarly found that except low academic performance, homesickness also lead to health problems such as physical complaints, anxiety, and absentmindedness. Moreover, international students who are suffering the homesickness that caused by being away from families and home countries (Thurber & Walton 2012, p. 415). Especially, for Chinese international students who have strong link with family members, which can aggravate this issue when they study abroad (Liu 2009, p. 76). Rajapaksa and Dundes (cited in Kegel 2009, p. 67) report that more than thirty percent of international university students feel homesickness frequently. In addition, lack social support can exacerbate homesickness among international students, which means that students who with more social supports feel less homesickness (Poyrazli and Lopez 2007, p.