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Problems Faced by International Students in the UK

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    Discuss three problems faced by international students in the UK. Suggest and evaluate possible solutions to these problems. International study is a very common thing nowadays , students tend to study abroad for different reasons. The United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) are the most popular countries where students prefer to study. Lebcir, Wells and Bond (2008) claim that ‘International students constitute an important part of university life in the United Kingdom (UK). Most universities in the UK have a considerable fraction of their students from overseas. therefore this study indicates that students from overseas have their effect on the country that they are studying in it. Yet, studying abroad can affect on the student’s academic performance or on their lifestyle in the country that they are studying in. Therefore this essay will discuss the most common three problems that overseas students face when they study in the United Kingdom which are academic, cultural and education problems . Also it will show some possible solutions for these problems and they will be evaluated .

    The United Kingdom offers one of the best education experiences, therefore many students tend to study there. On the other hand, international students in the United King? dom suffer from many problems that affects them while they are studying, in particular they mostly suffer from common problems, specifically academic, cultural and social ones, as Gu, Schweisfurth and Day (2010) argues ‘ The survey provided a baseline description of the sample students’ purposes for their overseas studies, expectations and initial impressions and a range of personal, social and academic challenges’ .

    Firstly, one of the most important effects of studying abroad is the academic performance. As Lebcir, Wells and Bond (2008) indicate that the academic performance is defined as how students do in their exams , course work or even their dissertations . Studying abroad will show the students new methods of learning; for example , they will witness a new teaching style, different study methods, different language and difficulties in communication ,as Jones (2010) points out ‘Of significance in this more diverse group are international postgraduates who may have come from academic and pedagogic cultures quite different from hose of the host country’ . In effect , solutions have to be provided to help students to improve their academic performance and help them to success in their university life. Planning has been interacting to help students to increase their academic performance rather than causing them problems. Specifically, courses have been made to help students in their English so that they can communicate easily and adapt with the new language . Also, teachers tend to ask the students about studying methods that will help them on their course classes .

    Moreover , universities are asking students to take courses that are made to help them to manage and adapt their new study materials which differ from those of their countries . In this case the academic performance of the overseas students can be controlled if students tend to use the methods that are provided to help them in the United kingdom universities. The second major impact on the students is the culture shock, which is one of the problems that most overseas students suffer from .

    A study by Huntley (1993) stats that ‘Each International student will have to go through several periods of adjustments , commonly known as culture shock ‘. Culture shock is an issue that not only new students suffer with it but students from all over the world suffers with it when they study abroad. As overseas students travel to the United Kingdom they will face a new and different culture that may cause them problems. Culture is a big combination from different things ; for example culture is related to traditions, language, food, accommodation and time difference.

    International students usually suffer from the previous culture difference which causes them many problems that may impact on their study and life in the United Kingdom . Suffering from these effects will lead to one consequence that they will suffer from a culture shock which is a new thing that they never had suffer from before. As for an example, in the United kingdom food is very different and many people do not like it and this may shock the international student because they would expect much better than they will see.

    This will make students more reliable on their own to have better food, so that may result in the student learning to cook their own meals rather than having English food. Moreover, the tradition in the United Kingdom should be different than they have back home because each country has its own tradition even if there is a similarity with other countries ; consequently overseas students have to get used to these traditions and learn about it as much as they can.

    Universities can help the students to identify the traditions by having some cultural event, in particular arranging the events between the international students and the United Kingdom residents so that this will help them to understand the English culture effectively. In this case overseas students do not know about this impact because they will not suffer from it until they travel to study. Consequently, the third and last major problem that effects overseas students the social impact of studying in the United Kingdom.

    The social impact on international students is very high because this affects the students outside the university , yet it still has effects on their studying performance. The social life of the student is very important to help him to control the other problems that he suffer from while he is studying in the United Kingdom. Homesickness, finance management, lack of friends, weather and health are the common social impacts that effect on the students. Students who travel to study abroad will find it difficult to deal with these impacts that they had easily in their own countries .

    Although these are common problems, still there are some solutions that will help them to overcome this issue. Universities in the United Kingdom started to do some work to help overseas students in their social life, therefore most universities have created social groups that arrange social events such as parties that can help students to get to know each other, while on the other hand courses and departments are held to help students Consequently, this shows that overseas students suffer from social problems .

    Yet, these problems can be solve and contribute to help students in their social life which will effect positively on their performance inside and outside the university. To conclude , studying abroad is not an easy choice and therefore many students who tend to study or had chosen to study abroad had made a huge step in their life. As Pritchard and Roberts (2006) refer ‘Motivation can be described as an ambition or desire to do something’. In this case , most students who chose to study abroad are motivated but still not all of them now that they will suffer from problems as a result of this choice. Therefore studying abroad must be considered and planned for because lots of overseas students regret this because of problems that they suffered while they were studying in the United Kingdom. Tradition are different in each country moreover the United Kingdom traditions and life style are difficult to adapt . In this case , student have to consider studying abroad very carefully because it will affect on their studying life in different ways and aspects .

    Bibliography * Huntley, H. S. (1993) Adult International Students: Problems of adjustments [online]. Available from : http://eric. ed. gov/PDFS/ED355886. pdf [Accessed 28/11/2011] * Jones, E. (Ed. ) (2010) Internationalism and the student voice . New York : Routledge publishing * Lebcir, R. M. , Wells, H. and Bond, A. (2008) factors affecting academic performance of international students in project management course: A case study from a British post 92 University .

    The Business School: University of Hertfordshire * Pritchard, L. and Roberts, L. (2006) The Mature Student’s Guide to Higher Education. New York : Two Penn Plaza * Gu, Q. , Schweisfurth, M. and Day,C. (2010): Learning and growing in a ‘foreign’ context: intercultural experiences of international students, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education [online]. Available from : http://www. tandfonline. com/doi/pdf/10. 1080/03057920903115983 [Accessed 27/11/2011]

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