Essay: Issues faces by International Students in America

International students face many issues when they come to America to study a course at college or university level. These issues may be on psychological, social or financial levels depending on the current circumstances of the student. In the following discussion I have searched for research material on these issues. I have organized the discussion to different topics that give us a point of discussion of these issues.

Learning styles

Most of the students coming to America had an education system that was focused on lectures and then attending exams. These exams needed to memorize the lecture material and then reproduce this in response to the paper questions. 80% of students that were contacted in a research by Ladd and Ruby (1999) were from an education system that was lecture based. When these students come to America they have to study in a total different system of learning by doing or direct learning. These student then find it very hard to relate their educational learning to practical life experience and need a proper guidance to successfully learn.

Need for a social support system

Students coming to America are sometimes from a totally different cultural and social setup. Some ties they are from a very conservative society and need to have some kind of counselling or social support to adjust in America. The counsellors in America are sometimes not well aware of this fact and their therapies are forms of social support may not help the students within the new culture they have come to study found out by Hayes and Lin (1994) in their research. I think that the academic and social counsellors who provide help to students should be aware of the background of the cultures of their subjects and try to understand their needs.

Language issues

Most of the students who come to study in America have studied in universities in their home countries which has a medium of instruction in English but the level of English speaking and writing of their instructors in not of high standard. When they come to America they find it very hard to follow their instructors who speak in high level English. Understanding of instruction in English in American colleges and universities for international student is not easy to follow as found by Andrade (2006) who did a research on the adjustment issues of international students in countries other than their home countries. Sometimes it is hard to understand the speaking style of the instructor. So it is important that the instructors understand the English level of their students and provide clear and easy to understand instructions.

Financial Pressure

If a student gets a Scholarship to study in America then he/she can adjust easily and focus on other adjustment issues. But if a student has to finance his/her own study then there are many financial issues as they have no source of income and living in America is very expensive as compare to their own country (Hanson & Zambito, 2003).

The university fees in America is also very high and if the family is not fully supporting from back home, the student can get stressed by lack of financial resources. These students are not eligible for student loans in majority of the cases (Financial Pressure for International Students. n.d.) and hence they have to generate money from one way or the other for which they might start to focus on odd jobs and have less time for studying.


Andrade, M. S. (2006). International students in English-speaking universities Adjustment factors. Journal of Research in International Education, 5(2), 131-154.

Financial Pressure for International Students. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

Hanson, L. R., & Zambito, J. (2003). The Troubling Issues Facing International Students Today. Journal of Student Affairs, 12.

Hayes, R. L., & Lin, H. R. (1994). Coming to America: Developing social support systems for international students. Journal of Multicultural counseling and Development, 22(1), 7-16.

Ladd, P. D., & Ruby Jr, R. (1999). Learning style and adjustment issues of international students. Journal of Education for Business, 74(6), 363-367.