Many students decide to have their education not in the home countries, but abroad. “Neighbor has a greener grass”, this popular principle from psychologists also makes people choose international education (Cialdini, 2006). Statistics show that the most popular place to study for international students in the U.S, which has 740482 students in total (UKCISA, 2015). Kazakhstani society also has a high percentage of internationals, studying there. I, myself used to study in the US. Sometimes, while being abroad, international students tend to experience problems.
Problems of students are often concentrated on personal and academic issues too (Tas, 2013). A similar research study was done by Tas (2013) also concentrated on difficulties of the exchange students that they can experience. In this part, I will focus on the general problems of students studying abroad and underline the main obstacles discovered in other research papers.
Оne of the obstacles described by Cialdini (2006) is the difficulty of exchange students’ integration into society. This is the problem that touches not only health and personal interests but the language challenge which considered to be the most difficult program.
It has been shown that 68% of the international experience problems while doing everyday issues such as buying tickets, communicating with professors (Wu, Guzman & Garza, 2015). For instance, students from India or Pakistan sometimes get a very negative impression about living in the U.S, since life in America requires a fast and immediate understanding of the language and its special features which totally differ from their native language (Tas, 2013). Some of the international students are being judged by their ability to speak English so that they lose interest and opportunities in studies.
Additionally, professors put enormous academic pressure on international students and ask more, than the locals while first ones experience not only problems with studies but with the language (Tas, 2013). If to apply this problem to Kazakhstani society, it has been shown that locals are more likely to have contact with international students, as soon as it is an important cultural aspect of society. According to Abdildina, Gappasova, Abdinam, Ni & Sadykova (2015), local students in Kazakhstan are more hospitable so that they tend to help internationals more than the students from other countries. However, this is the most common problem among the internationals around the world, and it needs a solution that will benefit both internationals and locals.
Abdildina, Gappasova, Abdinam, Ni &Sadykova (2015) examined international students’ problems in understanding teachers and other students. They used questionnaires and found that 46% of the foreigners acknowledged that they had difficulties because of the language barrier and therefore in the majority of cases, students had language problems.
Another important issue is racism within the different nationalities. There are a lot of cases when internationals were criticized by their identity, nationality, or religion (Abdildina, Gappasova, Abdinam, Ni &Sadykova, 2015). This is a very important issue, as soon as the country can get a negative impression for people as a whole so that the reputation among other countries in a political sphere will be spoilt. Wu, Guzman & Garza (2015) discovered that most international students “perceive loneliness or depression” related to offenses from the side of locals or other internationals, and they are ashamed to say to someone about it. There is a problem around the world related to the relationships between Asians, Europeans, and other representatives of nations. This obstacle requires attention from the government, and a worldwide solution, which will make everyone feel comfortable with it.
Internationals experience many problems every day, but the problem is that there is still no particular institution, which would regulate their actions and living condition. Problems with adjustment of international students to education environment are mostly connected with the language, racism, sociocultural and psychological issues (Vasiakin, 2015, as cited in Abdildina, Gappasova, Abdinam, Ni &Sadykova, 2015), accommodation, the impact of social networks (Cao & Zhang, 2012), etc. All the problems described above still seem to be actual, and the influence of them on the every-day life of the international student is greater than it seems for us. Nevertheless, the obstacles that they usually come up with seem to be inevitable, however, they make up the whole impression. Tas (2013) also mentions that universities are not ready to accept international students, since they usually do not know what to do with their accommodation, not sure what subjects they are able to take. This is the lack of organization of meeting and acceptance of international students, and understanding of the importance of having international guests in a country, therefore, lack of experience. (Wu, Guzman & Garza, 2015).
Another problem of the topic that international students get anxious about education abroad is the absence of some classes, which are not adopted for internationals. For instance, Tas (2013) mentions the internship classes, where students sometimes experience problems with language or lack of proper knowledge. This problem is directly connected with the existing gaps in the education program, as scientists do not take into account international standards. (Ozturgurt & Murphy, 2009).
There is plenty of studies that have been made already and the majority of the states that international students experience other problems. For example, it happens that these students are not treated well by the locals because of the language or differences in mentality (Tas, 2013). Therefore, they cannot properly go sightseeing or to have fun as local students do. Furthermore, Li & Campbell (2013) mention the level of homesickness among international students. Ozturgurt & Murphy (2009) adds that homesickness is a small, but a very important obstacle to reach the goals in studies for 50% of internationals.
To sum up, it is clearly seen that the adaptation difficulties among international students take place to be. Basically, the adaptation problems are associated with the attitude of the locals. Moreover, it should be appreciated that there are several small problems, which have an impact on adaptation. In such a case, I think we should take all the issues listed into account and try to help out international students, so they would not have a poor experience while studying abroad. The significance of this research is that it can be used for further research to fully understand the problem of the adaptation of foreign students, and take timely actions to help students reduce the issues they face and stress they go through while being abroad. In the best case, I would expect this research to be considered by the state officials, in order to create an organization that will work out with newly come international students, because the more foreigners come to the country, the better the economy of the country gets.
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